Canada Launches Free Trade Negotiations with Morocco

January 31, 2021
Ottawa Journal (January 24 – January 28, 2021)
David Tilson, M.P. (Dufferin-Caledon)

Our Government has continued to work towards opening new markets and creating jobs for Canadian businesses and workers, especially when our economic recovery is still fragile. We are doing this by launching free trade negotiations with Morocco. This builds on our earlier negotiations with India and our work to a broad and ambitious trade agreement with the European Union.

On January 27th, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, was joined by International Trade Minister, Peter Van Loan, and Agriculture Minister, Gerry Ritz, to launch free trade negotiations with Morocco. A free trade agreement with this country would be Canada’s first with an African country. It is yet another example of our Government’s commitment to opening new markets and creating new opportunities for Canadians.

A Canada-Morocco free trade agreement would allow Canada’s businesses, workers, and farmers to build on the $375 million worth of products that were exported to the country in 2009; an increase of 23 per cent from the previous year, despite the global economic recession.

Our Government recognizes that opening new markets is key to securing Canada’s economic recovery. This is why we have committed to an ambitious free trade agenda. Since forming government in 2006, we have already concluded free trade agreements with eight countries: Colombia, Peru, Jordan, Panama, and European Free Trade Association states of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

We have three main trade initiatives, all aiming to deliver economic growth for Canadians. Firstly, our Government launched negotiations toward a trade deal with the European Union, which is estimated to deliver a $12 billion annual boost to our economy. This is the most significant trade initiative since the North American Free Trade Agreement. Secondly, we have launched free trade negotiations with India; the potential deal stands to deliver a boost to the Canadian economy of $6 billion to $15 billion annually. Thirdly, we are carving out a free trade leadership role in the Americas. We already have agreements with seven countries and we are negotiating with many more.

Overall, we are in discussions with close to 50 countries, including free trade negotiations just launched with Ukraine and talks toward free trade with Turkey. We are also in discussions to expand the existing first generation agreements we have with Chile, Israel, and Costa Rica.

Canada is a world leader and an example in economic recovery for the international community. Our Government has taken significant steps to ensure that Canada emerges from the economic downturn stronger and in better shape than nearly every other industrialized country. We know that Canadian companies, entrepreneurs, and workers can compete on the international stage – and succeed. Through our efforts, we are laying the foundations for sustainable growth to benefit all Canadians today and in the years to come.