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Canada, Jordan FTA To Enter Into Force

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

25 September 2012

The free trade agreement (FTA) between Canada and Jordan is to enter into force on October 1, reducing tariffs and creating a more predictable and transparent trading environment.

The FTA was signed in June, 2009 after three rounds of negotiations were completed the previous August. Canada tabled legislation to implement the deal in November last year. It is Canada's first with an Arab country and only its second in the Middle East. In 2011, bilateral trade between Canada and Jordan totalled almost CAD89m (USD91m), with Canadian merchandise exports to Jordan reaching CAD70.1m. Merchandise exports have more than doubled since 2003.

The FTA will reduce or eliminate tariffs on almost all Canada's current exports to Jordan. In particular, the Canadian government believes that the elimination of tariffs on forest products, machinery and agricultural products will benefit Quebec and the Western and Atlantic provinces. Ontario is expected to benefit from changes to machinery, vehicles, tires and furniture tariffs. The agreement is also intended to provide a more predictable, transparent and rules-based trading environment for Canadian investors and businesses.

Announcing the news, Canada's Minister for International Trade Ed Fast said: “Our government’s top priority remains the economy, and protecting and strengthening the prosperity of hard-working families in every region of Canada. As of October 1, Canadian businesses will have preferred access to the Jordanian market. This competitive advantage will help increase Canadian exports and help create jobs and economic growth for Canadian workers and businesses in a variety of sectors.”

The Canada-Arab Business Council (CABC) welcomed the news. CABC chairman J. Hugh O’Donnell commented: “This agreement will expand opportunities for Canadian businesses and their employees by providing another foothold in the broader Middle East-North Africa market.”

Fast will lead a trade mission to Saudi Arabia and Jordan from October 5 to 9.

TAGS: business | free trade agreement (FTA) | Saudi Arabia | tariffs | legislation | Canada | Jordan | trade

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