Canada on track for F.T.A. with Jordan

by Bryan Salvage
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OTTOWA, ONTARIO — Legislation has been introduced to implement the Canada-Jordan free-trade agreement (F.T.A.) and related agreements on labor cooperation and the environment, announced Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, on behalf of Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway.

"We are building a strong relationship between Canada and Jordan, and today’s announcement will boost the bottom line for Canadian farm families," Mr. Ritz said.

"The Canada-Jordan F.T.A., once implemented, will open doors to this growing economy and give Canada a foothold in the broader Middle East and North African market," Mr. Day added.

The F.T.A. will eliminate tariffs on more than 99 percent (by value) of recent Canadian exports to Jordan, directly benefiting Canadian exporters. Key sectors in Canada that will benefit from this immediate duty-free access include forestry, manufacturing and agricultural products and agri-food, such as beef, pulses and frozen potato products.

Both men said the parallel agreements on labor and environment will help ensure progress on labor rights and environmental protection.

In less than four years, the Canadian government has concluded new free-trade agreements with the states of the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein), Colombia, Peru, Jordan and Panama. In 2008, two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Jordan totaled C$92 million ($87 million).

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