OTTAWA, Oct. 18, 2013 /CNW/ - The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) is pleased with the federal government's progress toward finalizing the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The announcement was made jointly today in Brussels by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso.
"Given the global nature of our sector, the Canadian mining industry is highly supportive of the formation of new trade agreements with key markets," said MAC's President and CEO, Pierre Gratton. "Today's agreement in principle on the comprehensive economic and trade agreement is a significant step forward that, once finalized, will eliminate existing European tariffs on Canadian mineral products, help facilitate labour mobility, and encourage European investment in the Canadian mining sector."
The European Union (EU) is Canada's second largest export market for Canadian metals, the third largest market for non-metals, and the fourth largest market for mineral fuels. On an annual average between 2010 and 2012, Canada exported $20.4 billion worth of metal and mineral products to the EU, led by precious gems and metals. Key exports included gold, nickel, diamonds, aluminum and iron ore. Upon implementation, the new agreement will eliminate 98 percent of Canadian and EU tariffs, while phasing out remaining tariffs over time. Of specific interest to the Canadian mining industry is the elimination of the following tariffs:
- Aluminum and aluminum products, from rates averaging 6.3 percent, with peaks of 10 percent;
- Nickel and nickel products, from rates of up to 3.3 percent;
- Non-ferrous metals, including copper, zinc, lead and tin, from rates averaging 3.1 percent with peaks of 9 percent; and
- Iron and steel and iron or steel products, from rates of up to 7 percent.
Beyond the reduction of tariffs for metal products, the agreement expands into areas of investment, labour mobility and enhanced regulatory cooperation. CETA is the first bilateral trade agreement in which Canada has included provisions on regulatory cooperation. By fostering cooperation earlier in the regulatory process, differences in approaches between Canada and the EU may be reduced, resulting in fewer barriers to trade once regulations are put into place.
CETA's temporary entry provisions will make it easier for highly-skilled professionals, such as engineers and senior managers, to work in the EU and vice versa. Further, investment provisions in CETA are anticipated to provide greater certainty, stability and protection to investments from both respective jurisdictions.
Canada's mining industry is responsible for approximately 10 percent of Canadian Direct Investment Abroad, and 9 percent of Foreign Direct Investment in Canada. "Foreign investment into Canada contributes directly to job creation, Canada's mining services sector, and to our nation's overall economic prosperity," stated Gratton.
For these and other benefits accompanying freer trade, MAC encourages the federal government to continue with its active trade agenda, through negotiating and, where possible, finalizing other Free Trade Agreements and Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements.
The Mining Association of Canada is the national organization for the Canadian mining industry. Its members account for most of Canada's production of base and precious metals, uranium, diamonds, metallurgical coal, mined oil sands and industrial minerals and are actively engaged in mineral exploration, mining, smelting, refining and semi-fabrication. Please visit www.mining.ca.
SOURCE Mining Association of Canada (MAC)