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Canada Promotes EU Trade Deal In BC

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

05 April 2013

Canada's International Trade Minister has been in British Columbia promoting the benefits of the European Union (EU) trade agreement currently under negotiation, stressing that the elimination of tariffs will create new export opportunities.

The EU is British Columbia's fourth-largest export market and trading partner. According to Ed Fast, a successful outcome to the comprehensive economic and trade agreement (CETA) talks "will lead to new opportunities and greater access for B.C. exporters to markets."

The aim is to secure the elimination of a number of tariffs, including those on key provincial exports such as forest products, metals and minerals, fish and seafood, agriculture and agri-food products and services. Other proposed provisions are intended to ease regulatory barriers to trade, protect exporters' intellectual property and ensure more transparent rules for market access.

"Our Government is focused on the priorities of workers, businesses and exporters in B.C. jobs, growth and long-term prosperity," Fast said. "That is why we are working hard to open new markets in large and dynamic economies - like the European Union - as part of the most ambitious trade expansion plan in Canadian history."

A joint study, carried out before the negotiations began, concluded that an "ambitious" agreement could boost the Canadian economy to the tune of CAD12bn (USD11.8bn) a year, and increase bilateral trade by 20%.

TAGS: business | intellectual property | tariffs | trade treaty | food | agreements | Canada | trade | European Union (EU) | services | Europe

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