(Press release provided to newsnow)
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today participated in a roundtable meeting with Ontario businesses at Forty Creek Distillery in Grimsby.
He was joined by Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, and Dean Allison, Niagara West-Glanbrook MP.
During the roundtable, the Prime Minister discussed the economy and measures that our Government is taking to help Canadian businesses thrive, both at home and abroad. Some of the measures highlighted included support for businesses in Economic Action Plan 2014, tax reductions, the elimination of unnecessary regulatory burdens, the Canada Job Grant, and the recently announced Small Business Job Credit.
The Prime Minster also highlighted the Government’s unprecedented efforts to increase Canadian businesses’ access to international markets, including through the Canada-European Union (EU) Trade Agreement and the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA). In particular, he highlighted the many benefits that the Canada-EU Trade Agreement will bring to workers and businesses from a wide range of sectors throughout Southern Ontario and across Canada.
Some of the benefits that were highlighted included eliminating the EU’s tariffs on almost all of Ontario’s keys exports, providing access to new market opportunities in the EU, improving conditions for export by easing regulatory barriers to trade, reinforcing intellectual-property rights, and ensuring more transparent rules for market access.
- The Canada-EU Trade Agreement is by far the most ambitious trade agreement that Canada has ever reached. It covers most aspects of the Canada-EU bilateral economic relationship, including trade in goods and services, investment, and government procurement. It also grants the flexibility to include areas of mutual interest beyond those that have traditionally been included in Canada’s trade agreements, such as regulatory cooperation. The EU is the world’s largest integrated economy, with more than 500 million consumers and an annual GDP of $18 trillion. It is projected that the Canada-EU Trade Agreement will boost Canada’s income by $12 billion annually and bilateral trade by 20 per cent.
- The Canada-EU Trade Agreement represents thousands of new jobs for Canadians, and a half-billion new customers for Canadian businesses.
- Ontarians stand to benefit significantly from this preferred access to the EU market. The EU is already Ontario’s second-largest export destination and trading partner. When the Canada-EU Trade Agreement comes into force, it will eliminate tariffs on almost all of Ontario’s key exports and provide access to new market opportunities in the EU. Exporters in these sectors will also benefit from other provisions that will improve conditions for export provisions, for example, that ease regulatory barriers to trade, reinforce intellectual-property rights and ensure more transparent rules for market access.
- The Canada-EU Trade Agreement will benefit the spirits and wine industries in a number of ways. The Agreement will prohibit the use of the term “rye whisky” for spirits not originating in Canada, prohibit misleading use of the term “Canada” generally, and specifically protect geographical indications of the terms “Canadian Rye Whisky and Canadian Whisky.” Canadian wine producers, including Ontario’s award-winning ice wine, will gain duty-free access to 500 million consumers in the world’s largest economy. The Canada-EU Trade Agreement will also have number of mechanisms that will make it easier to discuss and potentially resolve any non-tariff trade barriers in the area of spirits. All of these elements will help Canadian exporters in the EU market.
“Our government is committed to helping Canadian businesses thrive, including through unparalleled access to international markets. The Canada-European Union Trade Agreement will provide Canadian businesses with exciting new commercial opportunities and make Canada an even more attractive destination for investors and businesses,” said Prime Minister Harper.