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Minister Ng introduces modernized Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement legislation in the House of Commons

Press Release

From: Global Affairs Canada

October 17, 2023

The modernized Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA) marks a new era in Canada and Ukraine’s economic relationship and will be fundamental to the participation of Canadian businesses in Ukraine’s economic reconstruction and recovery from Russia’s illegal and unjustified invasion.

Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development, tabled the text of the modernized CUFTA in the House of Commons. Minister Ng concurrently also introduced Bill C-57, which, if adopted by Parliament, will implement the modernized Agreement in Canadian law.

The modernized CUFTA includes dedicated new chapters and provisions on trade in services (including financial), investment, temporary entry for business persons, telecommunications, digital trade, labour and the environment, among other areas. New chapters on inclusive trade have also been added to ensure that the benefits of CUFTA are more widely shared, including in the areas of:

  • small and medium-sized enterprises;
  • trade and gender, and
  • the first-ever trade and Indigenous Peoples chapter that Canada or Ukraine has ever included in a concluded free trade agreement.

When in force, the modernized CUFTA will not only continue to provide preferential market access for merchandise trade, it will also establish ambitious new market-access terms for services trade and investment.

Today Minister Ng also announced that she will bring a business mission to Ukraine in 2024. This mission will build on the foundations of the modernized CUFTA to create connections between our businesses and set Canadian businesses up to support the rebuild of Ukraine.

Quotes

“Canada’s modernized free trade agreement with Ukraine will create new jobs for workers and new opportunities for businesses in both of our countries—while also supporting Ukraine’s economic recovery, national security, and stability. Canada will continue to do everything we can to support Ukraine through to victory and into the reconstruction of a free and prosperous Ukraine.”

– Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

“The modernized CUFTA marks an important milestone in the Canada-Ukraine relationship, opening greater collaboration for our businesses and the ability to support Ukraine’s economic rebuild while driving benefits for Canadians at home. I look forward to working with all members of Parliament and senators to swiftly pass the legislation so that Canada may be in a position to bring the modernized CUFTA into force.”

– Mary Ng, Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development

Quick facts

  • On December 2, 1991, Canada was the first Western country to recognize Ukrainian independence.
  • Canada and Ukraine maintain strong and vibrant political, economic and people-to-people ties rooted in the Ukrainian-Canadian community of over 1.3 million people.
  • The original CUFTA entered into force on August 1, 2017, immediately eliminating tariffs on 86% of Canada’s merchandise exports to Ukraine.
  • In January 2022, Minister Ng and Ukraine’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Yulia Svyrydenko launched modernization negotiations.
  • Negotiations were paused when Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, but resumed in June 2022.
  • In April 2023, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal announced the conclusion of negotiations.
  • On September 22, 2023, Prime Minister Trudeau and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed the modernized CUFTA in Ottawa.
  • Bill C-57 will amend legislation to implement the modernized CUFTA in domestic law before the Government of Canada takes further steps to bring the Agreement into force.
  • In 2021, the value of total bilateral trade between Canada and Ukraine reached its highest point ever at $447 million ($220 million in exports and $227 million in imports). This dropped to $422 million in 2022 ($150 million in exports and $272 million in imports) largely due to the effects of Russia’s illegal invasion and aggression.
  • Public consultations in 2020 revealed broad support in Canada for modernizing the agreement to strengthen this bilateral commercial relationship and build on Canada’s engagement with Ukraine.
  • Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Canada has provided over $9.7 billion in multifaceted support.

Associated links

Contacts

Shanti Cosentino
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development
343-576-4365
Shanti.Cosentino@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
media@international.gc.ca

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