Ottawa: Several federal ministers launched a combined effort this week to highlight the benefits of a potential trade agreement with the European Union. They held events at local businesses in Ontario’s important manufacturing, financial services, chemicals and plastics, and research and development sectors to highlight the benefits a Canada-EU trade agreement would generate for Canadian workers and their families.
“Our government is focused on jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. An ambitious agreement with the European Union will be a big win for Ontario’s workers and businesses,” said Minister Clement at MBRP Inc., a leader in automotive exhaust technology and manufacturing, in Huntsville. “Nearly 795,000 hard-working Ontarians and their families depend on the manufacturing sector for their livelihood. A Canada-EU trade agreement will produce success for this critical sector and directly benefit workers and families who rely on it here in Ontario.”
At an event at the TMX Broadcast Centre studio, Minister Joe Oliver highlighted the benefits of a potential agreement for Ontario’s financial services sector.
“The financial services sector is an important pillar of Ontario’s economy that would benefit from an ambitious trade agreement with the European Union,” said Minister Oliver. “A free trade deal with Europe would provide Canadian companies with enhanced, more predictable and secure access to the EU services market, which is worth almost $1.4 trillion.”
Minister Lisa Raitt participated in a London event at Lamko Tool & Mold Inc., a leading manufacturer of high-quality molds and specialty dies.
“The elimination of EU tariffs on chemicals and plastics, currently averaging 4.9 percent, would give exporting businesses in this vital sector preferred access and a competitive edge,” said Minister Raitt. “With 87,000 Ontario jobs depending on this sector, increased access to the EU market would result in strengthened prosperity for Ontarians and their families.”
In Kitchener-Waterloo, Minister Van Loan held an event at Intelligent Mechatronic Systems, which specializes in the research and development of innovative solutions in the areas of telematics, automotive safety and mobile media.
“Almost 25,000 Ontarians and their families depend on the research and development services sector for their livelihood,” said Minister Van Loan. “Ontario’s research and development industry is world class, and our companies can compete with anybody in the world. Lowering tariffs will provide greater access to the lucrative European Union market, directly benefiting hard-working Ontarians through more jobs, higher wages and greater long-term prosperity.”
“More than 60 percent of Canada’s annual income (gross domestic product) and the jobs of one in five Canadians are generated by trade,” said Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, in a keynote address Thursday to the Economic Club of Canada in Ottawa. The Minister’s address was among several events being held across the country to highlight the benefits of the Canada-EU trade agreement currently under negotiation.
“An ambitious trade agreement with the European Union would generate significant benefits for hard-working Canadians in every region of our country,” said Minister Fast. “It would 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 jobs.”
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.