Create jobs by trading with the EUNovember 7, 2011
Our government’s top priority remains creating jobs and economic growth. To meet this objective, we are working hard to expand exports for Canadian goods and services overseas, by pursuing new free trade agreements.
Trade affects all Canadians. Trade creates jobs. Trade increases economic output. One in five Canadian jobs depend on trade and trade accounts for over 60% of Canada’s economy. When Canada trades, prices for goods and services go down, while wages, salaries and the standard of living go up.
Canada’s trade negotiations with the European Union(EU) towards a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement(CETA) is our single most important trade initiative since signing the historic North American Free Trade Agreement(NAFTA). Although the Canadian and American economies remain closely integrated, the uncertainty south of the border makes it important to diversify trade with other large markets around the world.
The EU is an ideal trade partner for Canada because it provides Canadian exporters with access to a high-income market of 500 million consumers, creating a vast potential for new jobs and economic growth.The EU is the world’s largest importing market for goods, 2.7 times larger than the United States. Furthermore, five out of the world’s eight largest goods-importing countries can be found within the EU.
Negotiations for a Canada-EU CETA touch upon a wide range of sectors and industries, from aerospace to processed foods. These sectors and industries stand to gain a number of important advantages from tariff elimination and a reduction in non-tariff barriers.
A trade agreement with the EU is projected to boost Canada’s economy by $12 billion and increase two-way trade by 20%. Furthermore, it is estimated that a Canada-EU CETA will create almost 80,000 new jobs and increase the average annual income of Canadian households by almost $1,000.
Last month, Canada and the EU completed the ninth round of CETA negotiations in Ottawa, and both parties are committed to concluding an agreement by 2012. Like all trade negotiations, the government is engaging in consultations with stakeholders across Canada, including workers, municipalities, provinces and territories. I appreciate the feedback that many of you have provided, and I will continue to relay your comments.