Editor, The News:
Re: Maple Ridge cheesemaker annoyed by trade deal (The News, Oct. 18).
Readers of your recent article about possible impacts on local cheesemakers from the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement might have missed the point that CETA is overwhelmingly positive for Canada.
In fact, it is Canada’s most ambitious trade initiative ever.
This agreement will open new opportunities to businesses (including cheesemakers) and will create new jobs for Canadians.
It is estimated that Canada’s income will expand by approximately $12 billion annually and increase bilateral trade by 20 percent.
This is the equivalent of creating 80,000 new jobs or increasing the average Canadian household’s annual income by $1,000.
CETA will eliminate tariffs on our key exports like metal and minerals, forest products, agriculture and agri-food, as well as our fish and seafood.
So here in B.C., many sectors stand to benefit significantly from preferred access to the EU market.
The EU is this province’s fourth-largest export destination and trading partner.
For example, Canadian dairy products currently face a massive tariff of more than 200 per cent to enter the EU market.
Under CETA, Canada has gained unlimited full access to the EU market, the largest and most lucrative market in the world, and will now be able to export cheese to Europe tariff-free.
By comparison, the EU’s access into the Canadian market under CETA is very limited. In fact, it is estimated to be just eight per cent.
This means that Canada’s world-class dairy products will now have vast new export opportunities in the EU market and we encourage producers to take advantage of this new access.
When Prime Minister Stephen Harper signed CETA in Brussels, it was a great day for Canada.
Randy Kamp, MP
Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission