Statement - The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement: More Benefits and Economic Growth for Canada

OTTAWA, Feb. 3, 2012 /CNW/ - The following is a statement by Russell Williams, President of Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) in response to a news release issued today by the Government of Canada announcing how the Canada-European Union Trade Agreement will benefit Canada's economy and Canadians.

"The Government of Canada's commitment to negotiate the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union (EU) this year has the potential to create new jobs and investment in life sciences.

"Canada would become one of the only countries in the world to have signed a comprehensive trade deal with both the United States and the 27 Member States of the EU. The EU is Canada's second largest export market. NAFTA and CETA combined would provide our economy of 34 million people with privileged access to a market of almost 1 billion consumers.

"CETA is a unique opportunity for Canada to upgrade its intellectual property (IP). This would make Canada a more attractive, secure, and sustainable place for investment. We can't let this pass us by. The proposed changes would bring our country's safeguards in line with those of our major trading partners, including the US, the EU and Japan, putting Canada back on the global investment map.

"CETA opens the doors of opportunity for Canadians and has the potential to improve Canada's health, economic and social well-being for generations to come.  Twenty-five years ago, in the context of another historic trade agreement, Canada did just that. At that time, the Government made a decision to strengthen pharmaceutical IP as a way to drive increased international investment, and it worked. In 1986, innovative pharmaceutical companies invested $93 million in research and development across our country - today that investment has grown to more than $1 billion annually, an increase of 1,500 per cent. It was a successful strategy but a quarter century later our competitors around the world have more than caught up. Canada needs to keep pace if we aim to attract more of the global pharmaceutical industry's annual research spend of approximately $110 billion.

"Policy makers are being asked to make a bold decision that will inject new energy, investment, opportunity and hope. The track record is clear. Strong IP stimulates investment. More investment means more hope, more opportunity and a more prosperous Canada. This is why we need CETA now."

About Rx&D

Rx&D is the association of leading research-based pharmaceutical companies dedicated to improving the health of Canadians through the discovery and development of new medicines and vaccines. Our community represents 15,000 men and women working for 50 member companies and invests more than $1 billion in research and development each year to fuel Canada's knowledge-based economy. Guided by our Code of Ethical Practices, our membership is committed to working in partnership with governments, healthcare professionals and stakeholders in a highly ethical manner.

SOURCE CANADA'S RESEARCH-BASED PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES (RX

For further information:

Christine Choury
Media Relations
Telephone: 613.236.0455
E-mail: cchoury@canadapharma.org

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CANADA'S RESEARCH-BASED PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES (RX&D)

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