Canadian Agri-food Trade Alliance (CAFTA)
Canada-EU trade negotiations could signal significant new opportunities for Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector: CAFTA
7 May 2009
OTTAWA/CNW/ - The Canadian Agri-food Trade Alliance (CAFTA)
welcomes the news that Canada and the European Union will begin negotiating a
new economic partnership agreement aimed at liberalizing trade and expanding
market access between Canada and the EU.
CAFTA is a coalition of national and regional organizations, associations
and companies that have come together in support of a more open and fair
international trading environment for agriculture and agri-food.
"The launch of these historic negotiations has the potential to open the
door to significant new opportunities for Canada’s agriculture and agri-food
sector, which relies heavily on exports," says CAFTA President Darcy Davis.
"With a population of 500 million, the EU could become an important market for
Canadian agricultural products."
CAFTA has supported the Canadian government’s efforts to expand economic
ties with the EU and congratulates the government on the May 6 announcement of
negotiations for a comprehensive, bilateral trade agreement. CAFTA is pleased
that the two parties have agreed to seek an ambitious, wide-ranging agreement
that will cover trade in goods, technical trade barriers, customs procedures
and many other measures which affect trade.
"The stage has been set for discussions on both tariffs and non-tariff
impediments to trade," Davis says. "In today’s environment, we are pleased to
see that Canada and the EU recognize that expanded trade can be a powerful
stimulus of economic activity."
While welcoming these bilateral trade negotiations, CAFTA stresses that
multilateral negotiations provide the greatest opportunity for achieving more
open trade in agriculture and agri-food. CAFTA encourages the Canadian
government to continue seek progress in agricultural negotiations at the World
Trade Organization (WTO).
CAFTA’s members include producer organizations, processors, marketers and
exporters from the major trade dependent sectors in Canada. Together, CAFTA’s
members produce almost 80% of Canada’s agriculture and agri-food exports,
conduct about $40 billion in business annually and directly employ close to
500 thousand Canadians.