Government Communications

Remarks, House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade, Study on Potential Canada-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement

Mathew Wilson, Senior Vice-President, Policy & Government Relations speaks in support of a Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Mercosur.

Manufacturing is the single largest business sector in Canada. The manufacturing industry’s contribution is critical for the wealth generation that sustains the standard of living of every Canadian. The industry accounts for 11% of Canada’s total economic output, while employing over 1.7 million Canadians directly in good high paying jobs.

Manufacturing is also an export-intensive business. It accounts for roughly two-thirds of Canada’s total exports, and for $1.3 billion in exports directly to the Mercosur countries. As such, trade – both imports and exports – is vital to the Canadian economy and to the health of Canada’s advanced manufacturing sector. This is why CME, and our members, fully supports free trade and Canada’s free trade agenda. However, we do not blindly believe in free trade agreements for the sake of free trade agreements – with Mercosur or with anyone else. CME has always believed that no trade agreement is worth signing unless that deal meets three objectives:

First, it creates a fair and level playing field for Canadian manufacturers and exporters and ensures that they have an equal opportunity to export to foreign markets as foreign competitors have to export into Canada;

Second, it allows value added exports from Canada, and not just the export of natural resources; and

Third, it does not undermine the existing integrated manufacturing supply chains developed through previous FTA’s, especially the NAFTA.