The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today announced the entry into force of a bilateral free trade agreement between Canada and Panama that immediately secures a competitive advantage for Canadian exporters.
“Canada’s Economic Action Plan, with its focus on creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity in every region of our country, includes opening new markets that increase Canadian exports,” said Minister Fast. “Starting today, this historic agreement will benefit Canadian exporters by immediately eliminating tariffs on more than 90 percent of Canadian goods exported to Panama. Workers and businesses in a wide range of Canadian sectors, such as aerospace, pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper and agriculture and agri-food, will benefit from taking Canada’s trading relationship with Panama to the next level.”
“The trading relationship between Canada and Panama continues to grow by leaps and bounds, having increased by 62 percent in less than four years,” said the Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs). “This agreement is further proof of our government’s commitment to a robust presence in the Americas that increases economic opportunities for Canadians and delivers real benefits and prosperity for people throughout our hemisphere.”
In less than six years, the Harper government has concluded free trade agreements with nine countries: Colombia, Honduras, Jordan, Panama, Peru and the European Free Trade Association member states of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. In addition, Canada is in ongoing trade negotiations with the European Union, India, Japan and the members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Canada also recently achieved observer status in the Pacific Alliance, a grouping of key fast-growing markets in Latin America. These accomplishments have been key to the Harper government’s work in opening new markets and increasing Canadian exports as part of the most-ambitious trade expansion plan in the nation’s history.