November 12, 2013 - Over the past three weeks, the Harper government has been active across the country highlighting the many benefits that the Canada-European Union trade agreement will bring to hard-working Canadians and their families in every region of Canada. An agreement-in-principle for this historic deal was announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso on October 18, 2013.
“Our government is focused squarely on the real priorities of Canadians—creating new jobs and new opportunities for workers and businesses in every region of our country,” said the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade. “As the biggest trade deal Canada has ever negotiated, the agreement we’ve reached with the European Union will create tens of thousands of jobs for Canadians and give our businesses access to a half-billion new customers. Whether you are a fisherman in Atlantic Canada, a maple syrup producer in Quebec, a manufacturer in Southwestern Ontario, a grain farmer in Saskatchewan, a beef producer in Alberta, or a woodworker in British Columbia—you will benefit from this historic agreement.”
On the first day the agreement comes into force, 98 percent of all EU tariffs will be eliminated, which will translate into increased profits and opportunities for Canadian businesses of all sizes in every part of the country. The agreement will bring unprecedented access to 500 million consumers across the EU’s 28 member states, representing annual economic activity of almost $17 trillion. A joint Canada-EU study concluded that the benefits of this agreement will be equivalent to creating almost 80,000 new jobs or increasing the average Canadian household’s annual income by $1,000.
“As a result of these being the most open, transparent and collaborative trade negotiations in our history, Canadians know clearly what is in this agreement,” added Minister Fast. “That’s why it has been supported by provinces and territories, key municipal leaders and stakeholders from key economic sectors in Canada. As part of our focus on what matters to Canadians, we’ll continue to show workers and families how this historic agreement will contribute to their financial security and long-term prosperity.”
This week, ministers, members of Parliament and beneficiary stakeholders will continue holding benefits-promotion events that show how this historic agreement will benefit local communities across the country. A backgrounder follows outlining the many promotional events that government representatives, along with interested stakeholders, have been undertaking to connect directly with Canadians since this historic agreement-in-principle was announced.