EU trade deal good for the province, government must now focus on TPP: BC Chamber

The newly announced European Union (EU) trade deal will bring benefits to the province, and the federal government must now turn its focus to establishing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), according to the BC Chamber of Commerce.

European flags in front of the Berlaymont building, Brussels.

The newly announced European Union (EU) trade deal will bring benefits to the province, and the federal government must now turn its focus to establishing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), according to the BC Chamber of Commerce.

BC Chamber president and CEO John Winter said the deal removes trade barriers and creates new opportunities for B.C. businesses to increase exports to European markets.

"We applaud the federal government for working through many challenging issues and delivering this milestone trade deal for Canadians," Winter said.

Some of the benefits for the province, the chamber said, include the elimination of the tariffs on the province's wood, seafood and agricultural exports, as well as on Canada's fish and seafood exports.

Winter said the government now has a framework establishing what it takes to form a comprehensive trade deal, and that it should use the momentum created by the EU agreement to push the TPP forward.

"Here in B.C., we're all too aware of the unprecedented economic opportunities that rapidly growing Asian markets present – both for B.C. and for Canada as a whole," he said.

Winter likened the EU deal to an "appetizer" and the TPP agreement to the "main meal."

"Now is the time for us to step up and throw our weight behind the TPP talks – because we simply have too much to gain," he said.

ecrawford@biv.com

@EmmaCrawfordBIV