OTTAWA, October 31, 2016 – The Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) welcomes the signing of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union (EU) this past weekend. This agreement, seven years in the making, is the first multilateral trade deal signed by the EU and another nation.
The ratification process will put CETA up for approval in the parliaments of all included nations. Canada is not wasting any time with the announcement by Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland that the agreement will be tabled in the House of Commons today. When fully implemented, CETA will remove tariffs from 94 per cent of agriculture and agri-food products and result in increased market access worth $100 million for Canadian grains and oilseeds farmers.
“As an export-dependent industry, Canada’s grain farmers rely on barrier-free access to international markets,” said GGC President, Gary Stanford. “We applaud the tireless efforts of Minister Freeland and Chief negotiator Steve Verheul in completing the final stages of negotiations, as well as the hard work of the previous government who helped make this historic agreement a reality.”
Canadian grain growers export 70 per cent of their wheat, 75 per cent of their pulse production and 90 per cent of their canola. Top agri-food exports to Europe include canola oil, canola, soybeans and wheat. As such, the removal of tariffs on these and other Canadian agri-food exports will bring clear economic benefits to farmers across Canada by increasing current exports and creating new markets for our other high quality grains.
“Canadian and European consumers have shared values in their support for high-quality, safe, affordable food,” said Jeff Nielsen, GGC Vice President. “Opening up the borders to allow the smooth movement of products between the two markets means that everyone wins.”
The Grain Growers of Canada provides a strong national voice for over 50,000 active and successful grain, oilseed and pulse producers through its 12 provincial and regional grower groups. Our mission and mandate are to pursue a policy environment that maximizes global competitiveness and to influence federal policy on behalf of independent Canadian grain farmers and their associations.