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Harper Government Advances Pro-Trade Plan to Open New Markets in 2012

Expanded trade opportunities for Canadian exporters are helping create jobs, growth and prosperity, says Minister Fast

The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today highlighted key accomplishments for 2012 of the most ambitious trade-expansion plan in Canada’s history.

“Our government’s top priority is creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity in every region of Canada,” said Minister Fast. “That is why we are working hard to open new markets to increase Canadian exports to the world’s largest, most dynamic and fastest-growing economies and regions.”

In 2012, Canada continued to oppose protectionist measures and stand up for free and open trade, showing leadership on the world stage in what remains a challenging period for the global economy. From strong job creation and rock-solid economic fundamentals, to maintaining low taxes and other world-leading investment advantages, 2012’s accomplishments are clear proof that Canada’s Economic Action Plan is delivering real benefits for hard-working Canadians and their families.

Key accomplishments from 2012 that are helping create new jobs and opportunities for workers, businesses and exporters include:

  • joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and participating in a first full round of negotiations;
  • signing a two-year extension to the Canada-United States Softwood Lumber Agreement that secures access to the U.S. market for Canadian softwood lumber until 2015;
  • launching the first round of negotiations with Japan toward an economic partnership agreement;
  • making continuing progress toward trade agreements with the European Union and India;
  • Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra of Thailand announcing that our two countries will pursue exploratory discussions toward a bilateral free trade agreement;
  • achieving observer status with the Pacific Alliance, a grouping of four fast-growing Pacific countries in Latin America;
    the entering into force of the Canada-Jordan Free Trade Agreement;
  • the Canada-Panama Economic Growth and Prosperity Act receiving royal assent;
  • tabling of the expanded Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement in the House of Commons;
  • completing the fifth year of the five-year Global Commerce Strategy, the launching of cross-country consultations and the naming of an advisory panel to help shape the next phase of the Strategy;
  • establishing a record number of trade missions in order to advance Canadian commercial interests abroad, including to India, China, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines, Russia and Libya;
  • conducting a historic trade mission to Burma and establishing a Trade Commissioner Service presence there;
  • making ongoing progress in implementing the Beyond the Border and Regulatory Cooperation Council Action Plans to improve the flow of people and goods between Canada and the United States, and laying the foundation for more jobs and growth in both countries.
  • celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement; and
  • continuing Canada’s leadership on the world stage in opposing protectionism and supporting free and open trade.

“Our government’s leadership in resisting protectionist measures and continuing to create new opportunities for our exporters has been key to Canada’s success,” said Minister Fast. “Thanks to our actions, Canadian workers, businesses and exporters, including small and medium-sized enterprises that form the backbone of our economy, now have preferred access to, and a real competitive edge in, more high-growth and emerging markets around the world than at any other time in our history.”

In less than six years, the Harper government has concluded free trade agreements with nine countries: Colombia, Honduras, Jordan, Panama, Peru and the European Free Trade Association member states of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Canada is also engaged in negotiations with large, dynamic and fast-growing markets, including the European Union, India, Japan and the countries that comprise the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Source: Government Of canada