Canada pursues Colombia, Peru free-trade agreements

by Bryan Salvage
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OTTAWA, ONTARIO — Legislation has been introduced in Canada’s House of Commons for the free-trade agreements Canada recently signed with Colombia and Peru, announced Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway. These agreements will expand market access in key sectors including agriculture.

"Canada is taking action during these difficult economic times by reaching out to our trading partners and reducing the barriers that undermine our mutual prosperity," Mr. Day said. "This is another example of the government's efforts to deepen Canada's presence in Latin America."

In 2008, two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Colombia totaled more than C$1.3 billion, while two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Peru reached C$2.8 billion.

Colombia will immediately, in some cases, or over a 5- to-10-year period in others, eliminate tariffs on virtually all Canadian exports. Once the agreement is implemented, products that will enjoy immediate duty-free access to Colombia include beef. Colombia will also eliminate the use of their price-band mechanism on selected products including pork.

By implementing the F.T.A., Peru will eliminate tariffs on virtually all Canadian exports, with most remaining tariffs to be eliminated over a 5- to-10-year period. Products that will enjoy immediate duty-free access to Peru include selected boneless beef cuts. Canada will immediately eliminate its tariffs on almost all Peruvian imports. The rest will be eliminated over 3- or 7-year periods. Over-quota tariffs on dairy, poultry, eggs and refined sugar are excluded from tariff reductions.

For more detailed information and for the complete text of the agreements, visit
www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/andean-andin/index.aspx.

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