St. John’s, October 18, 2013 — Fishing Industry Positioned for Unprecedented Growth and Prosperity as a Result of the Agreement-in-Principle Related to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union

Newfoundland and Labrador will have unprecedented, tariff-free access to the most lucrative fish market in the world as a result of an Agreement-in-Principle reached on the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA). The trade agreement, once implemented, will immediately add $25 million back into the fishing industry, and establish new opportunities which could add over $100 million to the industry.

“This is a great day for Newfoundland and Labrador, and a milestone achievement in our province’s history,” said the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. “A critical focus in this negotiation was to eliminate fish and seafood tariffs that have prevented industry in the province from accessing the most lucrative fish and seafood market in the world. We will now have secured unrestricted access to markets in the European Union, which represents a game-changing development for the fishing industry in Newfoundland and Labrador. This is the most positive development in the fishing industry in decades, and will enhance prosperity in the industry and in our rural communities for years to come.”

The terms of the CETA agreement-in-principle will permit Newfoundland and Labrador producers to develop new value-added and branded seafood products for European markets, which can create additional processing employment opportunities, particularly in rural communities. Once the agreement comes into effect, which is anticipated in 2015, 95.5 per cent of all European Union fish and seafood tariffs on Canadian fish and seafood will be eliminated immediately; 99.1 per cent of fish and seafood tariff lines relevant to Newfoundland and Labrador are effectively going duty-free once the agreement comes into effect. Currently, the province’s fishing industry is at a competitive disadvantage as only 13.1 per cent of fish and seafood exported to the European Union enters duty free. It is especially beneficial that Newfoundland and Labrador’s principle crab and shrimp products, which are the most lucrative species currently harvested and produced by the industry, will immediately enter the European Union duty-free when the agreement comes into force.

“Achieving duty-free access to Europe for our provincial seafood products will create tremendous benefits for the provincial fishing and aquaculture industry, and the rural communities that rely on it,” said the Honourable Keith Hutchings, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. “This agreement marks a new era of opportunity for harvesting and processing sectors, and brings the potential for new economic activity that will exceed the $1 billion that the sector already generates annually.”

The CETA Agreement-in-Principle also positions the province to take advantage of the largest consumer market in the world for goods and services which include minerals, oil and gas, fish and seafood, and ocean technology. To improve competitiveness and market conditions to increase sales, existing tariffs on metal and mineral products will be eliminated. The agreement will facilitate the attraction of foreign direct investment which is critical to maintaining economic growth and expansion across all sectors within the province, most notably natural resources, ocean sciences, and forestry.

“Premier Dunderdale was steadfast in ensuring that this Agreement-in-Principle provides enhanced trade and investment opportunities and prosperity for Newfoundland and Labrador,” said the Honourable Charlene Johnson, Minister of Innovation, Business and Rural Development. “This Agreement-in-Principle is a significant achievement for Newfoundland and Labrador and we expect new opportunities to emerge in commodities, services and knowledge-based industries as a result.”

In order to achieve unrestricted access to European Union seafood markets, the Provincial Government agreed to grant an exemption to minimum processing requirements for fish and seafood destined to these markets. This decision was made in consultation with industry stakeholders, and it was agreed that the economic benefits achieved justified potential exemptions from minimum processing requirements for the European Union only. Exemptions will take effect three years after CETA comes into force, and minimum processing requirements will be maintained for other jurisdictions.

Additional information can be found in the document – How CETA Will Benefit Newfoundland and Labrador

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Media contact:Jennifer Tulk, Director of Communications, Office of the Premier, 709-729-3960,