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Trade deal could help BC forestry


Canada's Minister of International Trade, Ed Fast highlighted British Columbia's renowned wood and wood products as among many provincial exports that will benefit from a Canada-EU trade agreement during a visit to the province yesterday.


November 16, 2012
By International Trade Canada

“Our government is committed to creating jobs and growing the Canadian economy,” said Minister Fast at Acorn Sawmill in Delta, a division of International Forest Products Limited (Interfor), one of the West Coast’s largest producers of quality wood products. “Key to these efforts is opening new markets, such as the EU, that appreciate the iconic products and brands that Canada has to offer—products that we as Canadians are proud of. A comprehensive economic and trade agreement with the European Union will bring benefits to various sectors of B.C.’s economy, including our wood and wood products industry.”

“Quality wood and wood products are a source of great pride for Canadians,” said Rick Jeffery, President and CEO of the Coast Forest Products Association. “B.C.’s wood exports face average tariffs of 2.2 percent in the EU, with peaks of 10 percent. The elimination of tariff barriers on these products would not only increase sales, but would also increase recognition of Canada’s world-class products.”

The wood and wood products sector employs nearly 15,000 British Columbians. Between 2009 and 2011, British Columbia exported an annual average of $326-million worth of wood and wood products to the EU.

“More than 60 percent of Canada’s annual income (gross domestic product) and the jobs of one in five Canadians are generated by trade,” said Minister Fast. “That is why our government is undertaking the most ambitious trade expansion plan in Canadian history, which includes a comprehensive next-generation trade agreement with the European Union. A trade agreement with the EU is expected to bring a 20-percent boost in bilateral trade and a $12-billion annual increase to Canada’s economy. That translates to a $1,000 increase to the average Canadian family’s income, or 80,000 new jobs.”

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The EU is Canada’s second-largest trading partner and the world’s largest integrated economy, with more than 500 million consumers and a GDP of over $17 trillion.