QUÉBEC CITY, QUÉBEC--(Marketwired - Dec. 5, 2013) - The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism, and Agriculture), today addressed the 89th General Congress of the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA), where he highlighted how Quebec agricultural producers will profit from the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
"This historic agreement is Canada's most comprehensive and ambitious ever and is a big win for Quebec's agricultural and agri-food industries," said Minister Bernier. "Quebec producers, workers and families will benefit greatly from the preferential access this agreement provides Canadian produce and products to Europe, one of the most important markets in the world."
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. The province's agricultural and agri-food sector contributed more than $22 billion to the province's economy in 2012 and employed approximately 475,000 Quebecers.
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.
CETA will provide new market access opportunities for key Quebec agricultural exports such as maple syrup goods, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, canola oil and processed products such as fruit bars, sugar confectionery, chocolates and dough. The agreement will also provide new market access opportunities for pork and beef producers, establishing a duty-free tariff rate quota of over 81,000 tonnes for Canadian pork exports to the EU.
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. CETA will create an opportunity for increased sales that will benefit hard-working Quebecers through more jobs, higher wages and greater long-term prosperity.
CETA will not affect Canada's supply management system, which will remain as robust as ever. The supply management system and its three key pillars (production control, import controls and price controls) will remain intact and the vast majority of supply-managed products will be exempt from increases in market access.
For more information on how the Canada-EU 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.