Canada reaches trade agreement with Peru

by Bryan Salvage
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OTTAWA, ONTARIO — Legislation to implement Canada’s free-trade agreement with Peru was adopted June 18 by Parliament and received Royal Assent, announced Stockwell Day, Canada’s Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway. This agreement will eliminate tariffs on goods, promoting two-way investment and expanding access for Canadian companies in this important market, he said.

In 2008, two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Peru reached C$2.8 billion. Peru is an important investment partner for Canada, with an estimated C$2.35 billion worth of Canadian investment stock in the country at the end of 2008.

"This agreement with Peru will provide opportunities for Canadian companies looking to expand their business into Latin America," Mr. Day said. "It will open new doors in key sectors such as extractive industries, manufacturing, agriculture and financial services—all areas in which Canadians have extensive expertise."

Canadian producers will benefit from the elimination of tariffs on exports into Peru. Many agricultural exports will enjoy immediate duty-free access. The legislation also involves parallel agreements on labor cooperation and the environment. The labor agreement commits Canada and Peru to respecting and enforcing standards, such as the elimination of child and forced labor, freedom of association and the right to bargain collectively. Environmental provisions commit both countries to pursue high levels of environmental protection, enforcing and maintaining their domestic environmental laws -- and not relaxing these laws to encourage trade and investment.

Canadian trade officials plan to implement all three agreements by as early as July 1.

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