International Trade Minister concludes successful visit to promote CETA
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade, today concluded her working visit to Germany, Austria and Slovakia, where she met with ministerial counterparts and leaders and discussed the importance of swiftly ratifying the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
In Wolfsburg, Germany, the Minister spoke at the conference of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and met with members of the Bundestag, including Sigmar Gabriel, Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy. At their conference the SPD membership voted overwhelmingly in support of the implementation of CETA.
During her working visit to Vienna, Austria, the Minister advocated for the ratification of CETA and reiterated how it would strengthen commercial relations between Canada and Austria. The Minister had the opportunity to meet with Federal Chancellor Christian Kern and Reinhold Mitterlehner, Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister of Science, Research and Economy.
While in Bratislava, Slovakia, the Minister joined Cecilia Malmstr?m, European Commissioner for Trade, to speak at a conference entitled EU Trade Agreements in Practice—Making Trade Work for You. The Minister also met with Peter ?iga, Slovakia’s Minister of Economy, and Matthias Fekl, France’s Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad. In an unprecedented step, the Minister also addressed a gathering of all EU ministers and senior officials responsible for trade.
CETA was a constant theme in discussions throughout the Minister’s working visit, and she encouraged the swift implementation of this gold-standard trade agreement at every opportunity. She reiterated Canada’s commitment to signing the agreement in 2016 for its entry into force in early 2017. The agreement is one way the Government of Canada is fulfilling its commitment to help grow the middle class through a progressive trade agenda.
“CETA reflects the desire of Canada and the EU to strengthen ties, while building on shared values. It will advance environmental protections, transparent investment rules, workers’ rights and world-class public services. CETA is a top priority for Canada, and the EU is equally committed to bringing this agreement into force as soon as possible. This gold-standard trade agreement will create opportunities for Canadian businesses of all sizes, in every part of the country, and bring more jobs and growth for our middle class.”- Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of International Trade
- Approximately 98 percent of all EU tariff lines will be duty-free on the day CETA comes into force (over 99 percent will be duty-free when the agreement is fully implemented).
- CETA will provide Canada with guaranteed preferential access to the EU market. The EU is the world’s second-largest market and Canada’s second-largest trading partner after the United States.
- Germany is Canada’s sixth-largest merchandise trading partner and second-largest export market in the EU, with bilateral trade valued at nearly \\$21 billion and Canadian exports to Germany valued at \\$3.6 billion.
- Austria is Canada’s 14th-largest export market in the EU, with bilateral trade valued at \\$2.1 billion and Canadian exports to Austria valued at almost \\$328.7 million.
- Slovakia is Canada’s 26th-largest export market in the EU, with bilateral trade valued at about \\$408.3 million and Canadian exports to Slovakia valued at almost \\$23.5 million.