Minister Champagne to highlight benefits of trade diversification in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador

News Release

February 19, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Global trade offers real opportunities for hard-working middle-class Canadians by helping to grow Canadian businesses, creating jobs and securing Canada’s prosperity. This is the reason why the Government of Canada is committed to achieving progressive trade agreements that expand markets and enable more people, particularly women, Indigenous peoples, youth and small and medium-sized businesses, to share in the resulting benefits.

From the recently concluded Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), Canada is locking in trade deals that will help grow the middle class. Canada is also looking to pursue new initiatives to further diversify trade opportunities, such as a potential agreement with the South American trade bloc Mercosur, comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. To help maximize the benefits of trade for the middle class, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade, will speak directly with Canadians during a cross-country tour called #TradeTalks.

From February 19 to 23, 2018, Minister Champagne will travel to Calgary and Regina to promote the opportunities offered by the CPTPP and discuss the potential benefits of a trade agreement with Mercosur.

While in Calgary and Regina, Minister Champagne will participate in round table discussions with key industry stakeholders. In Regina, the Minister will deliver keynote remarks on the Government of Canada’s progressive trade agenda and participate in a moderated armchair discussion co-hosted by the Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership and the Regina and District Chamber of Commerce.

On February 23, 2018, Minister Champagne will be in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, to participate in a round table discussion with key provincial industry stakeholders to discuss the benefits offered by CETA and the opportunities Mercosur could represent to Canadians.


“Ensuring Canada has access to diverse and growing markets is more important than ever for Canadian businesses so they can grow, continue to hire more Canadians and help strengthen the middle class.”

- François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade

Quick Facts

  • With the launch of CETA’s provisional application, on September 21, 2017, 98% of Canadian and EU tariff lines became duty-free, creating new opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic.

  • Combined, the CPTPP countries will eliminate over 95% of their tariffs, with the vast majority to be eliminated immediately upon the agreement’s entry into force.

  • Mercosur member states collectively represent the world’s fourth-largest trade bloc, with a GDP of Can$3.2 trillion and a population of 260 million people.

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