September 22, 2017

Saskatchewan Welcomes Landmark Trade Deal Between Canada and the European Union

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the 28 member countries of the European Union (EU) took effect Sept. 21, 2017.  The agreement could facilitate a potential $1.5 billion in new Canadian agri-food exports to EU countries by full implementation in 2023.

“Saskatchewan is now ideally placed to capture more of this market with the ever-increasing demand for high quality food in a growing world, including the European Union,” Minister responsible for Trade Steven Bonk said.  “Agriculture represents about 10 per cent of our province’s GDP, and we have been relentless in our advocacy to reduce tariffs and trade barriers.”

Saskatchewan is already the second-largest exporter in Canada (behind Ontario) of agricultural products to the EU, with $962 million of business in 2016, representing 26 per cent of national agri-food exports to Europe.  The Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance estimates that about two-thirds of new potential market access provided by CETA, or $1 billion, will go toward beef and pork exports, followed by $300 million for processed foods, fruits and vegetables, $100 million for grains and oilseeds and $100 million for sugar-related products. 

“Saskatchewan will provide more of our high-quality, safe and nutritious agricultural products to a market of more than 500 million consumers,” Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart said.  “History has shown that when our producers can compete on a level playing field, they will win, creating new growth, jobs and economic opportunity.” 

Bonk added that another positive effect of CETA will ease restrictions on foreign investments on uranium mining.

“CETA should promote increased investment in Saskatchewan while giving Saskatchewan businesses greater opportunity to compete within the EU,” Bonk said. “We have tremendous and still-to-be-fully-developed uranium resources.  CETA creates the exciting possibility for new investment in northern Saskatchewan, creating jobs and opportunity in the uranium sector.”

Negotiations between Canada and the EU began in 2009 and concluded in February 2016.  Along with the federal government, provinces were actively involved in the other CETA-negotiated areas under provincial jurisdiction, including trade in services, investment and government procurement.