Statement on WTO Failure to Adopt Protocol for Trade Facilitation Agreement

August 1, 2014 – The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today issued the following statement:

“On behalf of hard-working Canadians, businesses and stakeholders that will not benefit from the economic growth, jobs and opportunities generated by the successful implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), I wish to express Canada’s disappointment on the failure to reach an agreement. We believe this result is a loss for all WTO members.

“In December 2013, at the World Trade Organization’s Ninth Ministerial Conference in Bali, I welcomed the promising package—of which the consensus on implementing the TFA was an important part—and the progress made to re-establish the WTO as an organization that advances trade liberalization around the world.

“According to the OECD, full implementation of the TFA would reduce trade costs by up to 15 percent, directly benefiting Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), for whom border red tape and delays can be particularly burdensome. Studies suggest that implementation of the TFA could boost world trade by over $1 trillion, the world economy could grow by $960 billion and 21 million jobs could be created.

“Canada remains committed to the WTO and to continuing to find ways to make it work better. Trade and investment represent the twin engines of growth for the global economy. The Government of Canada understands that there is no better job creator than freer and more open trade.

“We will continue to provide leadership on trade liberalization and to implement Canada’s ambitious pro-trade plan under our Global Markets Action Plan. Our government is committed to delivering the tools and support that businesses, especially SMEs, need to succeed abroad. Over the past few years, our government has signed or brought into force free trade agreements with nine countries, concluded negotiations on a free trade agreement with South Korea, and reached a historic agreement-in-principle with the 28 member states of the European Union, the largest and most lucrative market in the world.”

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Shannon Gutoskie
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade
613-992-7332

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
343-203-7700
media@international.gc.ca
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