The Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership is giving the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union two thumbs up.
“Any free trade deal is a great deal for Saskatchewan, so in terms of grades, I would give this is an A,” explained STEP CEO Chris Dekker.
On Wednesday, the European Union parliament approved the trade deal with Canada by a vote of 408-254 with 33 abstentions.
Dekker stated the European market ranks 4th for Saskatchewan exports only behind the United States, China, and India.
CETA will eliminate about 98 per cent of the tariffs on both sides of the deal, which Dekker said is very important.
“It allows our exporters that one step up in order to be able to move their goods effectively, efficiently, and now more competitively. We see this as a great boom to Saskatchewan exporters and the export industry.”
Dekker believes there will be a steady increase in exports into the European Union over the next couple years, which could translate to new royalty opportunities, new investment, new jobs, and an overall boost to the economy.
Dekker pointed out CETA speaks favorably to the mutual beneficial opportunities that free trade engenders into either market.
“In a world of growing protectionism, this is a very important message to the world and to world leaders.”
A study found that the trade agreement could increase bilateral trade by 20 per cent annually and boost Canada’s income by $12 billion annually. It also suggested the economic benefit would be the equivalent to creating almost 80,000 new jobs or increasing the average Canadian household’s annual income by $1,000.
Saskatchewan exports grains, manufactured goods, uranium, potash, and other goods to Europe.