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Each day TFO Canada publishes a sample of trade news on the Canadian import market along with any new, updated or changed regulations and legislations regarding international trade; countries in which TFO Canada offers services and on the export sectors which it promotes.


Canada Signs Free Trade, Labour Cooperation and Environment Agreements with Peru

Thursday, May 29, 2008 > 16:07:35

(Source:Foreign Affairs and International Trade - NEWS RELEASES - May 29, 2008 (11:40 a.m. EDT) No. 130)


Canada Signs Free Trade, Labour Cooperation and Environment Agreements with Peru


The Honourable Helena Guergis, Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport), acting on behalf of the Honourable David Emerson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, today met with Mercedes Aráoz Fernández, Peru’s Minister of International Trade and Tourism, to sign the Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement (FTA). This is the second FTA signed by Canada in 2008 and Canada’s fourth FTA with countries of the Americas. Secretary of State Guergis was accompanied by the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Labour, who signed the Canada-Peru Agreement on Labour Cooperation with his counterpart Mario Pasco Cosmópolis, Peru’s Minister of Labour and Employment Promotion. Secretary of State Guergis also met with Antonio Brack Egg, Peru’s recently appointed Minister of the Environment, to sign the Canada-Peru Agreement on the Environment on behalf of the Honourable John Baird, Minister of the Environment.


The signing ceremony was hosted by His Excellency Alan García Pérez, President of the Republic of Peru, at his official residence and workplace in Lima.


“The Government of Canada is committed to opening new markets for exporters, service providers and investors through our Global Commerce Strategy,” said Secretary of State Guergis. “The signing of these trade, labour cooperation and environment agreements marks a significant step forward in Canada’s relations with Peru, in keeping with Canada’s commitment to re-engage in the Americas.”


“The Labour Cooperation Agreement is a significant milestone for Canada and for Peru,” said Minister Blackburn. “It is the beginning of a new relationship aimed at encouraging stronger and better-enforced labour laws. This agreement sends a strong and positive signal that the Government of Canada is working closely with our partners in the Americas to protect core labour standards and support good governance.”


“Today’s joint agreement on the environment is just one more example of how environmental protection and free trade can work hand in hand,” said Minister Baird. “We look forward to working with our Peruvian counterparts on shared issues of concern, including climate change, clean air and improving biodiversity.”


The Canada-Peru FTA will benefit exporters, service providers and investors in several sectors, including mining, manufacturing and agriculture. Peru will provide greater market access for a range of Canadian agricultural and industrial products. Provisions on cross-border trade in services will also benefit Canadian business in a variety of sectors, including mining, energy and professional services.


The agreement has also achieved greater stability, transparency and protection for investors, providing a more receptive environment for the rapidly growing stock of Canadian investment in Peru in key sectors such as oil and gas, mining, engineering and financial services.


The FTA also gives Peru improved market access to the Canadian market, which will help foster increased Peruvian economic growth and address problems of poverty and inequality. A chapter on trade-related cooperation, a first in a Canadian FTA, will be another catalyst for the reforms and investments necessary to drive economic growth and reduce poverty by assisting Peru in trade capacity-building.


The Canada-Peru Agreement on Labour Cooperation, which includes enforcement obligations and associated penalties, sets a new global standard in regard to the labour provisions of free trade agreements through strong protections for workers in both Canada and Peru. This agreement will not only strengthen worker protections, but also help ensure that competitors in other countries do not undercut Canadian enterprises by ignoring labour protections.


The Canada-Peru Agreement on the Environment commits the two countries to pursue high levels of environmental protection and corporate social responsibility, and to develop and improve their environmental laws and policies. The agreement includes key environmental obligations which require both parties to enforce their domestic environmental laws effectively and to refrain from relaxing those laws in order to encourage trade or investment. Through this agreement, Canada is also committed to working with Peru to help protect and conserve biological diversity in a way that respects the interests of indigenous peoples and local communities.


Canada will work with the new Peruvian Ministry of the Environment to advance the objectives of this agreement.


Negotiations toward an FTA with Peru were concluded in January 2008. The signing of the agreement builds on Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s commitment to re-engagement in the Americas, which is a major foreign policy goal of the Government of Canada.


In line with its Policy on Tabling of Treaties in Parliament, the government will table the agreements in the House of Commons for a period of 21 sitting days. Following this 21-day review, the government will introduce legislation to implement the treaties, aiming for the agreements to enter into force by January 1, 2009.


In 2007, two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Peru totalled $2.45 billion. The accumulated stock of Canadian investment in Peru was estimated at almost $1.8 billion.


Under Canada’s Global Commerce Strategy, the government is working to advance the country’s trade interests in key markets by opening up new opportunities for Canadian exporters, investors and innovators. The Strategy includes an aggressive agenda of trade negotiations that aims to secure competitive terms of access in markets that offer significant potential for our products and expertise.


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