The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today announced that the Canada-Peru bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) came into effect on August 1, 2009.
“Ensuring free and open trade is vital to international efforts to halt the global recession,” said Minister Day. “Our economic prosperity depends on creating new opportunities through open markets, and this free trade agreement with Peru will provide such opportunities with one of the most dynamic economies in Latin America.”
Canadian producers will benefit from the elimination of tariffs on exports into Peru. Many agricultural exports such as wheat, barley, lentils and peas will receive immediate duty-free status. The FTA provides enhanced market access in service sectors that are of interest to Canada, including mining, energy and professional services. Canada’s banking, insurance and securities sector will also benefit from greater access to the Peruvian marketplace.
Parallel agreements on labour cooperation and on the environment also came into effect on August 1. The labour agreement commits Canada and Peru to respecting and enforcing international labour standards such as the elimination of child and forced labour, freedom of association and the right to bargain collectively. The environment agreement commits both countries to substantially increase environmental protection, to enforce their respective environmental laws, and to refrain from diminishing these laws or reducing their enforcement to encourage trade and investment.
This is the second trade agreement Canada has implemented this year: in June, Canada’s FTA with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) came into force. Canada’s Economic Action Plan focuses on helping Canadian businesses and investors succeed in world markets. The ambitious trade agenda includes negotiations to improve market access to diverse countries in Europe, Asia, the Americas and the Middle East.
In 2008, two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Peru reached $2.8 billion. Peru is also an important investment partner for Canada, holding Canadian investment stock worth an estimated $2.35 billion at the end of 2008.