span style=”font-size:85%;”(Minister of International Trade)br //spanbr /The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today tabled legislation in Parliament to implement Canada’s free trade agreement (FTA) with the states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). It is Canada’s first such agreement with European countries.br /br /“In a time of global economic instability, free trade is more important than ever. Canada already exports more than $5 billion per year to EFTA countries, and that figure will grow under this agreement,” said Minister Day. “The agreement demonstrates that our government is taking action to help create opportunities in the international marketplace. It will benefit Canadian businesses by reducing barriers to trade. At the same time, Canadian consumers will have access to a more affordable and diverse selection of goods from EFTA countries.”br /br /The Canada-EFTA FTA provides for the elimination of tariffs in all non-agricultural sectors including aluminum and cosmetics, prefabricated buildings, coldwater shrimp and apparel products.br /br /It will also provide for the elimination or reduction of tariffs on selected Canadian agricultural and agri-food products such as durum wheat, frozen blueberries, frozen french fries, beer and Canadian crude canola oil.br /br /The Government of Canada held extensive consultations with stakeholders throughout the negotiation of the agreement to ensure that their interests and concerns were taken into account.br /br /The Canada-EFTA FTA is part of Canada’s Global Commerce Strategy, which aims to advance Canada’s commercial interests in key markets through an ambitious free trade agenda. For more information on the strategy, please visit the International Trade website a href=”http://www.international.gc.ca/commerce/strategy-strategie/index.aspx?lang=en” target=”_blank”here/a.
Date: December 2, 2008