Canada/Peru FTA seen implemented by July 1

Canadian ag exports such as wheat, barley, lentils, peas and some boneless beef could get “immediate duty-free access” to the Peruvian market as early as July 1.

The federal government said Thursday that it would work to have its free trade agreement (FTA) with Peru, including parallel agreements on labour co-operation and the environment, implemented by as early as Canada Day.

This follows Thursday’s adoption by Parliament and royal assent granted to legislation that implements the Canada/Peru FTA.

“This agreement with Peru will provide opportunities for Canadian companies looking to expand their business into Latin America,” International Trade Minister Stockwell Day said in a release.

“It will open new doors in key sectors such as extractive industries, manufacturing, agriculture and financial services — all areas in which Canadians have extensive expertise.”

Immediately upon implementation of the FTA, the government said, Peru will eliminate tariffs on “virtually all” Canadian exports, with most remaining tariffs to be eliminated within five to 10 years.

Products that will enjoy immediate duty-free access to Peru include wheat, barley, lentils, peas and “selected boneless beef cuts,” as well as a variety of paper products, machinery and equipment.

Canada, in turn, will immediately eliminate its tariffs on “almost all” Peruvian imports, with the rest will be eliminated over a three- or seven-year period. Exceptions, however, include Canada’s over-quota tariffs on dairy, poultry, eggs and refined sugar, which are “excluded” from tariff reductions, the government said.

The parallel labour agreement commits Canada and Peru to respecting and enforcing standards such as the elimination of child and forced labour, freedom of association and the right to bargain collectively, the government said.

The agreement’s environmental provisions, meanwhile, commit both countries to pursuing high levels of environmental protection, enforcing and maintaining their domestic environmental laws, and “not relaxing these laws to encourage trade and investment.”

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