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Canada Inks Free Trade Deal

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Ð'* Canada has successfully concluded negotiations toward a free trade agreement with Peru as the Harper government aims to widen market access for Canadian goods and services abroad at a time when fears loom about a slowdown in the U.S. economy.

Ð'* This free trade agreement with Peru will further solidify its trade and investment relationship, and open up opportunities for Canadian business in a range of sectors.

Ð'* In 2006, two-way trade in merchandise between Canada and Peru amounted to $2.4-billion.

Ð'* Peru has emerged as one of the most dynamic economies in the Americas, supported by an aggressive commerce agenda and clear stance in favour of trade liberalization.

Ð'* The government said the deal, Canada's second in South America following an agreement with Chile, will provide greater market access in Peru for Canadian agricultural products including wheat and barley, some boneless beef cuts, paper products, and machinery and equipment.

Ð'* Under the pact, Peru will immediately eliminate tariffs on 94% of current Canadian exports, with the remaining tariffs to be discontinued over a 5-10-year period. Canada will immediately stop imposing 97% of its tariffs on Peruvian exports, with the rest to be erased over 3-7 years.

Ð'* The minister said the agreement includes provisions of interest to Canada in sectors including mining, energy, and professional services.

Ð'* Mr. Peeling said the deal will strengthen economic ties and "further position Peru as a positive destination for investment by Canadian mining companies in resource development."

Ð'* Mr. Emerson also announced Saturday the signing of a free trade agreement with the four countries of the European Free Trade Association Ð'- Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Ð'* The



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