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Canada Embraces Free Trade

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

26 August 2011

Canada's 'ambitious free trade plan' generates clear benefits, a government minister has said, highlighting the Harper administration's commitment to deepening and broadening Canada’s trading relationships.

Delivering a keynote address to the Economic Club, Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, asked businesses to help create jobs and prosperity for Canadian workers, businesses and their families. He also assured business leaders that securing Canada’s economic recovery remains the government’s top priority, and that expanding Canada’s access to foreign markets is a key part of the government’s job-creating free trade plan.

He stressed that: “The benefits to Canadian families generated by international trade are clear. Trade accounts for over 60% of Canada’s annual GDP and one in five Canadian jobs. When we trade, prices for goods and services go down, wages, salaries and standard of living go up, and businesses are able to hire more workers.”

“Jobs and economic growth to benefit Canadian workers, businesses and their families continues to be our focus. Canadians gave our government a strong mandate to broaden Canada’s trading relationships and we are delivering”, he added.

New free trade agreements have been struck with nine countries since 2006. This figure includes an agreement with Honduras, recently announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper during a visit to South America. Discussions are also being held with a variety of other jurisdictions, including the European Union and India.

“At this critical time, we must work together to pursue new opportunities in markets around the world. When Canadian businesses succeed abroad, they create jobs, prosperity and other benefits for Canadian families in every region of the country”, Fast concluded.

TAGS: business | free trade agreement (FTA) | India | agreements | Canada | trade | European Union (EU) | Honduras | services | Europe

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