On October 29th The Right Honourable Prime Minister Stephen Harper rose in the House of Commons and tabled the agreement details for the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union (EU). We are working to open new markets to create jobs and opportunities for all Canadians and CETA will open a market of half a billion new customers for our industries.
This agreement will bring benefits to every region of our country. Alberta will benefit greatly from CETA as the EU is already Alberta’s fourth-largest export destination. CETA will eliminate tariffs on almost all of Alberta’s key exports once it comes into effect.
Our agriculture and agri-foods products will benefit with tariff reductions of 94% and eventually 95% when the agreement comes into effect. This will provide access to the market and make our agriculture sector more competitive. Grains, including oats and barley; as well as oilseeds, including canola oil will see the benefits of these tariff reductions.
Our government recognizes the importance of grain and oilseed products as key agricultural exports for Alberta and CETA will establish mechanisms to address issues of fundamental importance to our producers.
In addition, CETA will establish new markets for our world–class beef, pork and bison. CETA establishes tariff rate quotas for each product giving Canadian farmers yearly duty-free access for up to 80 thousand tonnes of pork, 50 thousand tonnes of beef and 3 thousand tonnes of bison.
As the Member of Parliament for Wetaskiwin, I have the good fortune of representing our hardworking Dairy Producers. Our Government has committed to maintaining our supply management system – CETA protects the three key pillars of supply management (production control, import control and price control). Out Government remains committed to working with industry stakeholders throughout the implementation period to ensure that our agriculture sector remains vibrant and robust.
The European Union and its 28 member states amounting to 500 million people and annual economic activity of almost $17 trillion is the largest and most lucrative market in the world and is also the world’s largest importing market for goods. All of this is great news for business and producers in Alberta and the riding of Wetaskiwin.
Please contact my Constituency office if you have any questions or concerns on any federally related matters, postage free, at: Bay #6A, 4612 – 50th Street, Ponoka, T4J 1S7; tel: 403-783-5530; toll free: 1-800-665-0865