Minister Champagne to travel to Chile and Paraguay to help create jobs for Canada’s middle class by expanding access to international markets

News release

March 6, 2018 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Increased trade and investment opens new markets for Canadian goods and services, creating long-term growth and an economy that works for the middle class. Diversifying trade with important and fast-growing markets, such as those found in the dynamic Asia-Pacific and Latin American regions, is a priority for job creation for hard-working Canadians.

Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade, announced that he will travel to Santiago, Chile, from March 7 to 8, 2018, to sign the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The Minister will then continue on to Asunción, Paraguay, on March 9.

The official signing of the CPTPP will take place on March 8 with all 11 member countries (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam), which together will form one of the largest trading blocs in the world, representing 13% of global GDP. Deepening Canada’s economic relationship with the Asia-Pacific region through the CPTPP will create unparalleled access for more Canadian goods and services and more good jobs for the middle class.

With the CPTPP, Canadian workers, producers, farmers, entrepreneurs and businesses will add another half a billion consumers for the quality products and services Canada can provide. More Canadians engaged in trade in new markets creates real and diversified opportunities to sell abroad and good middle-class jobs at home.

In Asunción, Minister Champagne will meet with his counterparts from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay—the Mercosur trade bloc countries—to build on the recent positive conclusions of exploratory talks. A comprehensive free trade agreement with Mercosur countries would provide Canada with yet another market and 260 million more buyers for the quality products that Canadians produce.

While in both Chile and Paraguay, Minister Champagne will also engage with civil society—including women and labour unions—to underscore the merits of Canada’s progressive approach to trade and that they are also critical to our economic success. 


“Canada is seizing every opportunity to secure new markets on better terms for more Canadians and is quickly becoming a country with unparalleled access to the world’s most dynamic markets. That is good for jobs and for every Canadian’s longer-term prosperity.”

- François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade

Quick facts

  • The CPTPP will be one of the largest trading blocs in the world, with 11 member countries. CPTPP countries represent 495 million people and have a combined GDP of $13.5 trillion.

  • In 2016, Canada’s bilateral merchandise trade with the 10 other CPTPP countries amounted to $105 billion.

  • The South American trade bloc Mercosur is a customs union established by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay in 1991.

  • With 260 million consumers and a GDP of over $3 trillion, Mercosur is the world’s fourth-largest trading bloc.

Associated links


Pierre-Olivier Herbert
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Trade

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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