Expanding Trade Opportunities for Canada
October 25, 2021Ottawa Journal (October 25 – October 29, 2021)
David Tilson, M.P. (Dufferin-Caledon)
Canada is a trading nation. We are also a nation that defends free trade on the world stage. We have a Government that is committed to open borders, free markets, and opposes protectionism. In less than four years, our Government has concluded new free trade agreements with Colombia, Peru, Jordan, Panama, as well as the European Free Trade Association States of Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. These agreements and other potential agreements are key to Canada’s economic recovery and offer new and important opportunities to Canadian businesses and workers.
The United States (U.S.) is Canada’s largest trading partner. According to Diplomat and International Canada, Canada and the U.S. traded more than $700 billion (or $1.9 billion in cross-border trade every day) in goods and services in 2008. However, as the American economy has struggled over the last two years, it has impacted Canadian trade.
In response to the challenges faced by Canada’s trade relationship with the U.S., our Government has been in negotiations towards a free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union (EU), as such a trade relationship could present immense opportunities for Canadian business, entrepreneurs, and workers.
On October 18th, the Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, began the fifth round of these negotiations. The negotiations, which took place in Ottawa, could provide Canada with access to one of the largest markets in the world. Furthermore, the agreement would grow Canada’s economy by at least $12 billion and would create prosperity for businesses, workers, and their families. Our Government has been engaged in negotiations since October 2009, which included the provinces and territories, to ensure a comprehensive agreement that benefits all Canadians.
Our Government understands that securing Canada’s economic recovery must include the creation and expansion of new markets for Canadian business, while remaining committed to free trade. A free trade agreement with the EU would make Canada the only developed country in the world with free trade deals with both the EU and the U.S., the two largest markets in the world. The benefits for Canadian business are significant, as it will provide them with a key competitive advantage and the necessary tools to succeed internationally. This also means jobs and growth for Canadians.
Our Government is paving the road for a successful economic recovery. By opening Canada up to new trade markets and freer trade, Canadian businesses will have the competitive edge needed to succeed abroad, while creating lasting sustainable growth here at home. It’s just one more way our Government is delivering real results for all Canadians.