Free Trade Deal
Editor: I wish to respond to the article published on June 23 with regard to the historic Canada-European Union Trade Agreement (CETA).
With CETA, Canadian businesses will have preferred access to the European Union, the world’s largest trading bloc, with more than 500 million consumers and an economy with over $17 trillion of economic activity each year. We will be the only nation with preferred access to both the EU, the 300 million affluent consumers in the United States, and the over 118 million people in Mexico. In Canada, one in five jobs is dependent on exports, and more than 60 per cent of our annual GDP comes from trade.
As our government has stated, Canada trades on products, services and expertise, but we maintain direct control over our regulations and government powers.
The concerns raised by Ms. Boyd are the same spurious claims that were made by those opposed to free trade with the United States over 20 years ago. Since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed, Canada’s annual GDP has risen by nearly $1.2 trillion, 4.7 million jobs have been created in Canada and the country’s trilateral trade in goods with the United States and Mexico has more than tripled.
CETA excludes health, public education and other social services. In addition, nothing in CETA can force governments to privatize, contract out, or to deregulate public services. Policy makers here guide these decisions in Canada. The suggestions made by Ms. Boyd are without merit and are designed to promote an anti-trade agenda.
Our government worked with provinces and territories at the negotiating table from the very beginning. In fact, there has been direct outreach on CETA to ensure it benefits Canadians in all provinces. The Canada-EU Trade Agreement is a good deal for Canadians, a good deal for Prince Edward Islanders and a good deal for jobs and long-term prosperity in Canada.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade