QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Nov. 4, 2013) - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, and the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism, and Agriculture), today said that Quebec's pork industry will greatly benefit from the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.
"This historic agreement is Canada's most comprehensive and ambitious ever and is a big win for Quebec's pork industry," said Minister Fast. "Workers and families who rely on this sector stand to benefit from the preferential access this agreement provides to the largest and most lucrative market in the world."
Minister Fast and Minister of State Bernier were speaking at an event at L'Épicerie J.A. Moisan. The fine foods store, located in Québec's Old City, sells many local and artisanal products, including those made of pork, which are popular among European and Canadian tourists alike.
"Quebec's agri-food sector is one of the most important parts of Quebec's economy," said Minister of State Bernier. "In particular, Quebec's pork farmers, processors and workers stand to benefit from lower tariffs and increased access to the lucrative EU market, which will create new jobs, new opportunities and higher wages."
Canadian agricultural exports to the EU face high tariffs averaging 13.9 percent. When the Canada-EU trade agreement is fully implemented, more than 95 percent of EU agricultural tariffs will be eliminated, including those levied on processed agricultural products and beverages.
"The Canada-European Union trade deal is very good news for the Canadian pork industry," said Jean-Guy Vincent, Chair of the Canadian Pork Council. "The deal will provide our pork producers and processors with exclusive access to the European Union, which, after China, is the world's largest pork market."
The agreement will provide new market access opportunities for key agricultural exports, such as pork and beef. On Canadian pork exports to the EU, the agreement will establish a duty-free tariff rate quota of over 81,000 tonnes.
Quebec's agricultural and agri-food sector plays a key role in the province's economy and is well known as a reliable supplier of safe, high-quality goods. Quebec's agricultural exports to the EU were worth an average of $688.5 million annually between 2010 and 2012, making agriculture the province's third-largest exporting sector to the EU. The EU is Quebec's second-largest trading partner and export destination.
Overall, the province's agricultural and agri-food sector contributed more than $10.4 billion to the province's economy in 2012 and employed approximately 138,500 Quebecers, more than a third of whom work in the processing end of the industry.
On October 18, 2013, Canada and the European Union announced an agreement-in-principle on a landmark trade deal. The 28-country EU represents a market of over 500 million consumers and economic activity worth $17 trillion a year. It has been estimated that the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement could boost the Canadian economy by $12 billion annually, equivalent to creating 80,000 jobs or boosting the average Canadian family's income by $1,000 a year.
For more information on how the Canada-European Union trade agreement will benefit Quebec, please visit Benefits for Quebec.
For more information on the vast benefits of this agreement to every region of Canada, please visit actionplan.gc.ca/CETA.
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