NEWS RELEASE · 24th March 2010
M. of International Trade
The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, today followed through on a commitment made in the Speech from the Throne earlier this month by introducing legislation to implement the Canada-Jordan Free Trade Agreement and related agreements on labour cooperation and the environment.
“The Canada-Jordan Free Trade Agreement, once implemented, will open doors to this growing economy and give Canadian businesses a real advantage in the broader Middle East and North African markets,” said Minister Van Loan.
Upon implementation, the free trade agreement will eliminate tariffs on over 99 percent, by value, of recent Canadian exports to Jordan, thereby directly benefiting Canadian exporters and workers.
Two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Jordan totalled $82.5 million in 2009.
Key sectors, including forestry, manufacturing and agriculture and agri-food, will benefit directly from this immediate duty-free access. Canadian companies are global leaders in these sectors.
“The potential for expanding that network across North Africa and throughout the Arab peninsula is exceptional. I certainly believe that the potential for Canada in that part of the world is as great as it is anywhere, if not greater,” said David Hutton, Director General of the Canada-Arab Business Council.
The parallel agreements on labour and the environment will help ensure progress on labour rights and environmental protection. This free trade agreement is part of a broader international trade strategy to improve Canadian companies’ access to key international markets and to enhance opportunities for Canadian exporters and investors.
Canada has free trade agreements in force with Chile, Costa Rica, the countries of the European Free Trade Association, Israel, Peru, and jointly with Mexico and the United States.
It has also concluded free trade negotiations with Panama and tabled, on March 10, legislation to implement a free trade agreement with Colombia. Canada is continuing trade talks with the European Union, the Caribbean Community, Central American countries, the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Korea. Canada is also pursuing closer trade relations with India, Morocco and Ukraine.
“Our government is pursuing an ambitious trade agenda beyond our borders for Canadian workers at home,” said Minister Van Loan