The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today told business leaders attending the energy security panel at the Toronto Global Forum that the Canada-European Union trade agreement will contribute to global energy security. A historic agreement-in-principle with the EU was announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and European Commission President José Barroso on October 18, 2013.
“Lowering trade barriers, opening our economy to foreign investment and investing in infrastructure all contribute to making Canada’s energy production more available to our trading partners,” said Minister Fast. “The Canada-EU trade agreement is a key part of our pro-trade plan, which also includes liberalized trade with our partners all around the world.”
During his remarks, Minister Fast reminded the audience that Canada is a global leader in energy. It is among the world’s largest producers of oil, gas, electricity and uranium. In 2012, the Canadian oil and gas extraction, electric power generating, and petroleum and coal manufacturing industries exported $109.6-billion worth of energy-related products to the world, representing 24.1 percent of Canada’s merchandise exports.
“The Canada-EU trade agreement is the biggest, most ambitious trade agreement that Canada has ever reached, and it will generate substantial gains across all key economic sectors, covering every region of Canada,” said Minister Fast. “Canada will be one of the only developed countries to have preferential access to the world’s two largest markets: the European Union and the United States.”
Since 2006, Canada has concluded free trade agreements with nine countries: Colombia, Jordan, Panama, Peru, the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and Honduras. Most recently, Canada reached an agreement-in-principle with the 28-nation European Union. In addition, Canada is currently pursuing trade agreements with over 25 countries, including with large, dynamic and fast-growing markets such as India, Japan and the countries that comprise the Trans-Pacific Partnership.