In a media release issued April 27, 2012, the Canadian Apparel Federation (CAF) welcomed progress being made to establish a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), and urged the Canadian Government to conclude negotiations by the end of 2012.
Canadian apparel exports to the European Union (EU) currently amount to $130 million per year making it our second largest export market. Exports to the EU grew by nearly seven percent in 2011. The elimination of duties between Canada and the EU, under a CETA, would allow Canadian firms to increase their share of the European market.
CAF Executive Director Bob Kirke added that to be effective, the CETA must incorporate commercially viable rules of origin.
“Our industry wants to see a rule of origin that provides real opportunities for Canadian exporters. The rule of origin and other provisions must allow Canadian apparel manufacturers to use raw materials sourced from leading suppliers around the world in finished goods made in Canada, and qualify for duty free access to the European market. Similar provisions are built into the NAFTA, and must be a central part of the CETA,” he concluded.
Together with access to the U.S. market (under the NAFTA), a completed CETA would provide the Canadian apparel industry duty free entry into the two largest consumer marketplaces, providing our high value-added manufacturers a solid base on which to invest, and develop world class products.