Small businesses welcome Canada-E.U. trade deal

Toronto, October 18, 2013 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) applauds the federal government for finalizing a free trade agreement with the European Union. Canadian small business owners have supported trade arrangements that can open new markets for Canadian goods and services and help Canadian small businesses to grow.

“This is a good day for businesses that currently trade or plan to trade with the European market,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly. “Canadian entrepreneurs can compete with anyone in the world, and we’re glad to see the government removing some of the barriers that hold businesses back from growing and creating jobs.”

CFIB member surveys have found that many Canadian small businesses would like to increase the volume of goods and services bought and sold across the Atlantic, but cite the following challenges:

  • Fluctuating value of the Canadian dollar (67 per cent);
  • Costs associated with buying or selling, such as the cost of shipping (45 per cent);
  • High tariffs and/or duties (28 per cent); and,
  • Having to deal with different rules/standards in each country (21 per cent).

Small business owners who already trade with Europe have been hopeful that many of these issues will be addressed by the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) announced today. In particular, they are encouraged by elements of the deal that address harmonization of regulations, simplification of border processes, and reduction of paperwork.

While complimenting a deal that will open up new markets to Canadian goods and services, CFIB will be carefully reviewing the trade agreement for any impact on local industries. “It will be important for us at CFIB to gauge the reaction of small firms to specific changes in the context of the other important wins for our members and the broader small business community,” Kelly concluded.

To arrange an interview with Dan Kelly, please contact Gisele Lumsden at 416-222-8022 or by email at public.affairs@cfib.ca.

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.

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