Statement by Minister of International Trade Diversification on the one-year anniversary of entry into force of Canada – European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement 


September 21, 2018 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

“The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement or CETA came into force one year ago today, and Canadian consumers and businesses are already reaping its benefits. CETA is a landmark agreement that set new standards for how we build trade deals moving forward. 

“First the numbers. Twenty-eight countries, 510 million consumers and the world’s most lucrative market. One year in, Canada is already seeing the rewards for those entrepreneurs, exporters and early adopters who recognized the opportunity.  This has translated into an almost 10 per cent increase in trade since CETA went into effect – or $100-billion in bilateral trade.

“New shipping lines are being added to accommodate the increased container traffic filled with the goods produced by countless Canadians in fields and factories from coast to coast to coast.

“Striking examples include a 206 percent increase in aluminum exports to the European Union, while motor vehicles and parts are up 96 percent, mineral fuels and oils are up 46 percent and organic blueberries are up 28 percent. Between October of last year and July 2018, we also saw big gains in plastics, wood pulp, base metals and pharmaceutical exports to the EU.

“Behind the numbers are hard-working Canadians who, thanks to the new opportunities created by CETA, can now realize their global ambitions with new direct access and easier mobility to work and sell in Europe, including 90 days business travel to market their products, make contacts, compete and succeed.

“CETA is also a testament that when you put the middle class front and centre, the terms of trade can be improved for more hard-working people. CETA broke new ground by ensuring economic growth goes hand in hand with workers’ rights and high levels of environmental protection.

“CETA protects the government’s ability to regulate in the public interest and maintain strong public services. These are the principles, founded in CETA, that have guided Canada’s approach to other successful trade agreements, such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

“CETA sent an unmistakable signal that Canada and the EU are open for business, and to doing more business with each other. We believe in open societies and open economies, and recognizes that trade agreements should not uphold the status quo but challenge it, bringing more people into the wealth and job creation that comes from greater access to more markets.

“We got CETA over the line by asking this question: What would make that budding entrepreneur, small business owner, farmer or manufacturer better equipped to compete and succeed?

“We worked with them to get a better deal in CETA and have demonstrated that with hard work, we can do that again and again the world over.

“We need to help our small and medium-sized businesses link into global supply chains and to multinationals and global infrastructure projects the world over.

“More global companies should see Canada as critical and integral to their supply chain and Canada’s small and medium-sized businesses, whether in Delta, Dauphin or Dartmouth, need access to international markets to scale up.

“There is nothing like Brand Canada. We are naturally global.

“But we haven’t always been actively global.

“It is our job to open more doors and make sure that market access works for more Canadians. CETA paves the way for more access for Canadians to the second-largest market on earth. Now is the time to turn that access into new customers, clients and the good jobs that come with it.”


Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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