MONTREAL, Oct. 18, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Premier of Québec, Pauline
Marois, and the Minister of Finance and the Economy, Nicolas Marceau,
have announced that the Québec government has indicated that it
supports the agreement in principle on the major issues of the
negotiation of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between
Canada and the European Union (CETA). This draft agreement in principle
comes after several months of intense negotiations.
"We are proud that we have taken this crucial step in the negotiations
leading to the most far-reaching free trade agreement since NAFTA in
1994. Because of its limited domestic market, Québec must be more open
to the world. With its 500 million consumers, the European Union is the
planet's leading economic power," the Premier said.
"The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the
European Union will diversify and consolidate access to a market that
is essential for Québec companies. Under CETA, all customs tariffs of
the European Union and Canada on industrial products will be
eliminated, including 98% of tariff lines as soon as CETA comes into
force," Minister Marceau added.
Accordingly, Québec will be able to reap significant gains, especially
in the aluminum, recreational vehicles, petrochemical and chemical
products, sawn timber, mobile homes, auto parts, telecommunications
equipment, and advanced optics equipment sectors as well as for many
processed food products.
CETA will also include a framework for the recognition of product
certification organizations for sectors in which "CE" marking is
necessary. For Québec, this certification will mean shorter delays and
lower costs for our industries.
In the field of public procurement, it is important to mention that no
other country in the G20 will enjoy access comparable to that obtained
by Canada to public contracts of the European Union, the biggest public
procurement market in the world, estimated at nearly $3 000 billion
In agriculture, CETA will provide increased access to the European
market for beef and pork and will eliminate tariffs on many fresh and
However, the federal government agreed to an increase in the cheese
import quota, which may have an impact on the income of Québec's dairy
farmers and cheese-makers.
"The Québec government had expressed to the federal government that it
opposed such a compromise in response to the European Union's demands.
Moreover, I can confirm that we obtained a firm commitment from the
federal government that compensation measures will be put in place for
the dairy producers affected by this increase in imports. These
measures will specifically aim to compensate for any loss of income
attributable to the increase in the import quota, tighten the entry of
non-quota cheese, implement stricter border control in the near future
and, lastly, better take into account Québec's share of the sector in
the allocation of import licences," Nicolas Marceau explained.
It was agreed that these compensation mechanisms must be known and set
out in detail before final ratification of CETA.
Lastly, Québec obtained assurance that services related to education,
health and social services, services supplied in the exercise of
governmental authority and supply management, in particular, would be
excluded from the scope of CETA. With respect to cultural industries,
negotiations were able to put forward an approach based on exceptions
by chapter, with a reference, in the CETA preamble, to the UNESCO
Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural
"As soon as we took office, our government indicated its support of a
future free trade agreement to diversify access to markets for Québec's
industries. Until a final agreement is ratified, we will continue to
work tirelessly so that Québec benefits as much as possible from this
agreement," the Premier added.
"Québec has been involved throughout the negotiations, and we have
achieved significant gains for our economy. We made ambitious offers to
obtain easier access to European markets for Québec businesses. It is
therefore crucial to finish the job so that Québec can benefit as
quickly as possible from major spinoffs by diversifying our exports to
the European Union," Québec's chief negotiator, Pierre Marc Johnson,
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SOURCE: Cabinet du ministre des Finances et de l'Économie
For further information:
Press Relations Officer
Office of the Premier
Tel.: 418 643-5321
Assistant Chief of Staff and
Press Relations Officer
Office of the Minister of Finance
and the Economy
Tel.: 418 643-5270 or 514 873-5363
Media Relations Officer - Economic Mission
Direction des stratégies et des affaires publiques
Ministère des Finances et de l'Économie
Tel.: 418 691-5698, ext. 4868