Free Trade is good for Canada and Alberta

In these fragile global economic times it is important that we keep focused on growth and strong trade partnerships

Blaine Calkins, MP

In these fragile global economic times it is important that we keep focused on growth and strong trade partnerships that are critical to Canada and Alberta’s long-term prosperity. When one-in-five Canadian jobs depends on exports, our Government must remained focused on creating jobs and furthering opportunities for all Canadians and free trade agreements helps achieve these goals.

I am proud to be a Member of a Government that has launched the most ambitious trade expansion plan in our countries history. In less than 7 years our Government has concluded Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with 38 countries, while in office the Liberals were only able to conclude 4 FTAs. Our prosperity depends on our ability to capitalize on the economic opportunities emerging in other markets and given their track record the Liberals and NDP have limited ability to capitalize on these growing opportunities.

When Prime Minister Harper announced the Canada – Korea Free Trade Agreement it became our first FTA in the Asia – Pacific market. This agreement will boost trade and investment between Canada and South Korea while at the same time creating jobs and economic opportunities for all Canadians particularly Albertans.

Some numbers to keep in mind, South Korea has a $1.1 trillion market and Canadian businesses will have preferential access to over 50 million new customers, with estimates projecting a boost to our economy of nearly $2 billion a year – this agreement is welcome news for Canada.

With a lens on Alberta, this agreement will see enhanced market access for many agriculture and agri-food products including wheat, pork, beef and canola oil. Additionally Alberta will have duty-free access for forestry and value-added wood products including lumber and oriented strand board.

Alberta will also benefit from duty-free access for industrial goods, including metals, aircraft parts and chemicals, additionally Alberta will have improved access for professional services such as architectural, construction, environmental, financial, tourism, transportation and oil and gas services.

This agreement is vitally important for the global competitiveness of Canadian and Alberta businesses, it levels the playing field for companies competing with South Korea’s existing free-trade partners and it builds on our other landmark FTA with the EU.

Our Government is focused on what matters most to Canadians, we are working hard to keep Canadians safe, pay lower taxes and provide long-term prosperity for all Canadians and we will continue to deliver on our commitments.

Please contact my Constituency office if you have any questions or concerns on any federally related matters, postage free, at: Bay #6A, 4612 – 50th Street, Ponoka, T4J 1S7; tel: 403-783-5530; toll free: 1-800-665-0865 or visit my web site: www.blainecalkinsmp.ca or on twitter at www.twitter.com/blainecalkinsmp