Minister Champagne concludes tour of Quebec’s Saguenay–Lac‑Saint-Jean region, where he discussed international trade with local businesses

News release

June 27, 2018 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

International trade helps Canadian businesses compete, promotes regional economic development and provides real opportunities for middle-class Canadians.

On June 26 and 27, 2018, the Honourable François‑Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade, visited the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region as part of his cross-country #TradeTalks tour, meeting with business leaders in Jonquière, Chicoutimi, Saguenay, Alma, Roberval and Dolbeau-Mistassini.

During these meetings, the Minister, among other things, promoted the opportunities created by new trade agreements such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Canada–European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

While in Alma, Minister Champagne met with representatives from the aluminum industry to reiterate the Government of Canada’s support for the industry. He also encouraged businesses to take full advantage of free trade agreements like CETA in order to continue diversifying their export markets.

During the tour, Minister Champagne also took part in discussions with business community representatives from the region’s key sectors and visited company sites, mainly in the forestry and agri-food sectors and in innovative sectors such as the video game and drone industries.


“Quebec is a destination of choice for the mining industry and aluminium processing value chain in particular. We will continue to harness the enormous potential of free and progressive trade to promote Quebec’s economic growth and increase prosperity for the middle class across the country. Our regions are at the heart of our economic growth strategy and I am proud of the ingenuity of our local entrepreneurs. ”

- François‑Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade

Quick facts

  • Close to 90% of Canadian aluminium is produced in Quebec; Canada is the world’s third largest producer of primary aluminum. 

  • In 2017, the Canadian aluminum industry employed nearly 10,500 workers while contributing $4.7 billion to Canada’s GDP. 

  • Two-thirds of Quebec’s primary aluminum production occurs in the North Shore and Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean regions.

  • Since the provisional entry into force of the Canada–European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement on September 21, 2017, 98% of Canada and the European Union’s tariff lines have been duty-free, creating new opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic.

  • Combined, the member countries of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership will eliminate more than 95% of their tariffs, with the vast majority being eliminated immediately upon the Agreement’s entry into force.

Associated links


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

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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