USMCA is good for Canada, British Columbia and Vancouver Island, Minister Wilkinson tells Vancouver Island Economic Alliance
Nanaimo, British Columbia — Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, spoke to provincial business leaders at Vancouver Island’s Economic Alliance Annual Summit in Nanaimo. The Minister reiterated the importance of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade as an engine of growth and prosperity for businesses, workers, and communities on Vancouver Island and across British Columbia.
In British Columbia alone, the value of total exports to the U.S. from 2015-2017 was CAD$20.4 billion. During that same period, BC’s top exports to the US were lumber, petroleum products, agricultural goods, pulp and paper, and metals. This new deal safeguards the industries, jobs and livelihoods that rely on steady, predictable and consistent trade with Canada’s largest trading partner.
The USMCA safeguards more than $2 billion a day in cross-border trade and provides tariff-free access for more than 70 per cent of Canadian exports. It is good for Canadian workers and good for the middle class in British Columbia and across the nation.
The successful conclusion of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) holds great news and promise for all coastal communities like Nanaimo. Beyond ensuring tariff free access to Canada’s largest seafood export market, a market worth $4.3 billion a year, the agreement contains significant new measures focused on promoting ocean health, measures that will help to ensure that present and future generations can enjoy the social, cultural, recreational, environmental and economic benefits our oceans provide. The ocean actions are especially important for attracting businesses and tourists, and supporting related services including food and accommodation.
These commitments are the strongest that exist in any free trade agreement in the world. The ocean health issues addressed in the agreement are precisely those that Canada advanced internationally at the recent G7 meetings and domestically through the Oceans Protection Plan.
Canada is now the only G7 country to have trade agreements with all G7 countries. When implemented, the USMCA will help Canadians compete globally and prosper in a healthy, integrated North American economy.
The Government of Canada will continue to engage with North American partners to finalize the details of an agreement that benefits all Canadians.
“USMCA is a good deal for the people of Vancouver Island, and the Province of British Columbia. The Island is well positioned to take advantage of the access that the USMCA will provide. The USMCA will contribute to long-term growth and prosperity for Islanders, and all British Columbians.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
“The USMCA maintains free trade across an economically influential, integrated and competitive regional market of 486 million consumers and a combined GDP of US $22 trillion. It addresses modern-day trade issues and supports prosperity for Canadians by ensuring that our businesses, entrepreneurs, workers, ranchers, farmers and fishers will have continued preferential access to our largest market.”
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs
North America is home to more than 486 million people.
The United States and Mexico are, respectively, Canada’s first- and third-largest merchandise trading partners in the world.
In 2017, trilateral trade reached nearly USD $1.1 trillion (about CAD $1.44 trillion) – more than a three-fold increase since 1993.
Since January 2016, “Team Canada” visited the United States more than 300 times, and made more than 500 individual contacts with American officials, including the President, the Vice-President, 16 United States Cabinet members, more than 310 members of Congress, and 60 governors and lieutenant governors.
To help guide negotiations, the Government of Canada consulted with Canadians from across the country and from all sectors and backgrounds about trade. Consultations included meetings with the provinces and territories, industry, unions, civil society, think tanks, academics, Indigenous peoples, women, youth, and the general public.
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans
and the Canadian Coast Guard
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Global Affairs Canada
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
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