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Canadian apparel industry welcomes progress toward CETA
01
May '12
The Canadian Apparel Federation (CAF) welcomed progress being made to establish a Canada Europe Trade Agreement (CETA), and urged the Canadian Government to conclude negotiations by the end of 2012.

According to CAF President Elliot Lifson, “We strongly support the progress being made and we urge the government conclude negotiations quickly in order to expand export opportunities for innovative Canadian apparel manufacturers and designers.

The European Union (EU) is already the second largest export market for Canadian fashion, behind the United States. The proposed Canada Europe Trade Agreement (CETA) has the potential to expand and deepen trade between Canada and Europe”, he said.

Canadian apparel exports to the EU currently amount to $130 million per year, and grew by nearly seven percent in 2011. The elimination of duties between Canada and the EU 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. These rules, contained in all free trade agreements, determine how and whether goods qualify for tariff elimination and other benefits of any accord.

“Our industry wants to see a rule of origin that provides real opportunities for Canadian exporters, and we are confident that the Canadian government will be able to meet the needs of our industry,” he said. “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.

The Federation also urged the Canadian government to move forward on this and other agreements of importance to the industry, especially the proposed FTA with Japan and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), as quickly as possible.

The Canadian Apparel Federation (CAF) is the national association for Canada's apparel industry. CAF represents the nearly 75,000 people that are employed in the industry. CAF is made up of firms from across the country, and represents the full range of firms that make up the industry, from small suppliers to national brands and vertically integrated retailers.

Canadian Apparel Federation

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