Commentary – CETA to benefit PDAC members: Joe Oliver (Northern Miner – November 13, 2013)

The Northern Miner, first published in 1915, during the Cobalt Silver Rush, is considered Canada’s leading authority on the mining industry. 

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, Joe Oliver, met with the full board of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada in Toronto on Nov. 12. The following is an excerpt of his prepared speech, as it relates to the proposed Canada-European Union free trade agreement, formally called the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, which is supported in principle by the PDAC.

Our government is working hard to position Canada to take full advantage of growth in emerging economies. Key to achieving this success will be market access through new infrastructure and market diversification.

Your industry is ahead of the curve in this regard — with markets and market access already well-established worldwide.

As you know, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso recently announced an agreement-in-principle on a free trade agreement with the European Union.

The Canada–EU trade agreement is by far Canada’s most ambitious trade initiative ever. The EU is the largest economy in the world — with its 27 member states, 500 million consumers and annual economic activity of $17 trillion.

The agreement will open new markets to Canadian exporters throughout Europe and generate significant benefits, jobs and opportunities for all Canadians.

It has been estimated that benefits from this trade agreement will be equivalent to increasing the average Canadian household’s annual income by $1,000 — or adding almost 80,000 new jobs to Canada’s economy.

Workers in every region of the country will feel the advantages – including in Canada’s exploration and mining industries. When it takes effect, the agreement will eliminate substantially all EU tariffs on metals and mineral products. For example, in the case of iron and steel, we anticipate tariff elimination as high as seven percent

The value of these goods is, of course, enormous. Canada exported over $20 billion worth of metals and mineral products to the EU annually between 2010 and 2012, led by precious gems and metals.

In addition to metals and mineral products, EU tariffs on mining technology products, such as surveying instruments, will all be eliminated immediately upon entry-into-force of the agreement.

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