Readout: Minister Ng meets with European Union Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan
May 15, 2020 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada
The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, met virtually today with Phil Hogan, European Union Commissioner for Trade, to discuss ways Canada and the European Union (EU) can continue to work closely together to support businesses and workers as we look towards economic recovery.
Minister Ng emphasized the importance of the EU to Canadian workers, farmers, producers, and businesses as Canada’s second largest trading partner. Our trading relationship is critical in allowing both Canadians and Europeans access to the goods and services they rely on.
The meeting was an opportunity to outline how the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is an essential part of the COVID-19 recovery effort, providing stability for Canadian businesses in this uncertain time.
In the two years since CETA came into effect, two-way trade between Canada and the EU has increased by nearly 15%. Through CETA, Canada and the EU are working to ensure our trade relations are more inclusive by ensuring that everyone – including women and small business owners – can share in the benefits of trade.
Minister Ng impressed the need for Canada and the EU to work together to ensure Canadian businesses and workers – specifically our farmers, producers, and manufacturers – benefit from the agreement. She underscored the importance of improving EU market access for Canadian agricultural products through the removal of technical barriers to trade. She also emphasized the need to accelerate the accreditation of Canadian conformity assessment bodies responsible for the certification of Canadian goods to EU requirements.
The Minister and Commissioner discussed the need for strong international coordination through the G20 and the World Trade Organization (WTO), and highlighted their critical work in establishing the WTO Multi-Party Interim Arrangement to underpin rules-based trade throughout the pandemic and beyond. Minister Ng spoke of the urgency for G20 members to deliver on their collective action plan to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on jobs, trade, and the global economy.
Lastly, the Minister and the Commissioner discussed their shared interest in reconvening Ottawa Group ministers virtually in early June to address WTO reform and the role of the WTO in supporting economic recovery for our citizens.
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