Alberta Wheat Commission welcomes news of official CETA signing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Calgary, Alberta) October 31, 2016 – The Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) is pleased that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union (EU) was signed over the weekend and applauds the federal government and Minister of International Trade, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland for finalizing this long awaited, historic agreement.
The deal, which was signed during an official ceremony on October 30, 2016 by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a number of European delegates, will give Canadian producers improved access to EU markets with an immediate 94 per cent tariff reduction on agricultural products including wheat and durum wheat and an advantage over our major competitors.
“We export approximately two million tonnes of wheat annually from Canada into the EU so this could mean significant dollars for Canadian grain farmers,” says Kevin Auch, AWC Chair. “For example, Italy is a major importer of Canadian durum and a key market for Canada and they will be a part of this deal, so it will be a huge benefit for Canadian wheat farmers to have reliable access this important market.”
Currently, Canada faces high tariff rates on agricultural exports to the EU so removing these trade tariffs will be a significant savings to the agricultural industry and opens more doors for Canadian grain exports. Canada will also have a competitive advantage over the U.S. as tariff reductions come into effect.
“The U.S. does not have a trade agreement with the EU and until this occurs, Canada will have the opportunity to gain market access and share over our major competitor,” explains Auch.
The 28 member EU has a total population of 500 million and generates $17 trillion in annual economic activity.
“The EU is the world’s largest importer of agricultural and agri-food products,” adds Auch. “Canada currently exports $2.4 billion of exports into the EU so it is important that Canada has a competitive advantage into the world’s largest agricultural market.”
The CETA agreement will now begin the ratification process through Canadian parliament and the 28 members of the EU, with full implementation expected in 2017.
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