Harper Government Highlights Benefits of Canada-EU Trade and Economic Agreement to Italian Business Community

Forging new and deeper trade and investment ties in key markets is one of best ways to create good jobs and spur economic growth, says Erin O’Toole, member of Parliament-elect

December 5, 2012 - Erin O’Toole, member of Parliament-elect for Durham, today said that a Canada-EU trade and economic agreement would greatly benefit the Canada-Italy trading relationship, as well as workers and businesses in both countries. Mr. O’Toole was speaking in Montréal to members of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada.

“Our government’s top priority remains the creation of jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity,” said Mr. O’Toole. “Opening new markets for our exporters is key to these efforts, and an ambitious trade agreement between Canada and the EU will help provide good jobs and greater prosperity to workers and businesses on both sides of the Atlantic.”

A trade and economic agreement with the European Union is expected to bring a 20-percent boost in bilateral trade and a $12-billion annual increase to Canada’s economy. That translates to an increase of $1,000 to the average Canadian family’s income or 80,000 new Canadian jobs.

“A trade agreement with the European Union will give Canadian businesses a competitive advantage,” said Celso Boscariol, President of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada. “Our members welcome the Canadian government’s efforts to strengthen the transatlantic linkages that make our economies stronger.”

“While the Canada-Italy relationship has a firm foundation, an ambitious and successful conclusion to the Canada-EU trade negotiations will take our partnership to the next level and unlock its full potential,” said the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway.

In 2011, Canada-Italy two-way merchandise trade exceeded $7 billion—and has great potential for growth. The large Italian-Canadian community of 1.5 million contributes to the strong people-to-people ties between the two countries.

The EU is Canada’s second-largest trading partner and the world’s largest integrated economy, with more than 500 million consumers and a GDP of over $17 trillion. The ongoing trade negotiations with the EU represent Canada’s most significant trade initiative since the historic North American Free Trade Agreement.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
613-992-7332
rudy.husny@international.gc.ca

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000
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