Sask. exporters say province stands to benefit from new trade deal with EU

By CJME News Staff
February 16, 2017 - 2:27pm

The new trade deal between the European Union and Canada is being given a top grade by the Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership (STEP).

“Any free trade deal is a great deal for Saskatchewan so in terms of grades, I would give this an A,” said STEP CEO Chris Dekker.

On Wednesday, the European Parliament approved the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement, or CETA.

Canadian Parliament still needs to ratify the free trade deal, but Dekker said removing all tariffs will give Saskatchewan an edge over other competitors.

“Saskatchewan stands to benefit significantly from the preferred access that this agreement would give us into the European Union markets,” he said.

“It allows our exporters that one step up in order to be able to move their goods effectively, efficiently and now more competitively.”

Dekker added Europe is the fourth-biggest market for Saskatchewan imports, behind the United States, China and India. The province sends an extensive list of goods – including grain, durum and wheat – to the EU.

The deal comes in the face of opposing anti-trade movements, including those from President Donald Trump’s administration.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the European Union in Strasbourg, France Thursday.

“The anxiety people have toward the economy and trade can be addressed only if we ensure that trade is inclusive so that everyone benefits,” he said.

Trudeau noted, if successful, CETA has the potential to be the “blueprint of all ambitious future trade deals” – adding if it fails, it could be one of the last.

 

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