Contributing Lawyers

Canada

Cyndee Todgham Cherniak

United States

Susan Kohn Ross

Australia

Andrew Hudson



Canada Concludes Free Trade Agreement with Jordan

On August 26, 2008, Canada's Minister of International Trade announced that Canada had concluded free trade agreement negotiations with Jordan.  In addition, Canada signed (1) a Labour Cooperation Agreement and (2) an Environmental Cooperation Agreement.

Canada has signed free trade agreements with the United States, Mexico, Chile, Israel, Costa Rica, the EFTA countries (Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Lichtenstein), Peru and Columbia.  This is Canada's first free trade agreement with a Muslim country.  I have previously advocated free trade agreement negotiations with Oman, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf countries. 

News of the Canada-Jordan free trade agreement is a positive development. The Notice concerning the conclusion of the free trade agreement negotiations states:

[A] FTA with Jordan will improve market access for both agricultural products and industrial goods, and help to ensure a level playing field for Canadian exporters vis-a-vis competitors that already have preferential access to Jordan's markets. Trade between the two countries totaled $76 million last year."

The details concerning the tariff elimination schedules are not yet publicly available.  However, given Jordan's past market access agreements, it can be expected that most tariffs on industrial goods will be reduced or eliminated immediately or soon after the FTA comes into effect.  This is great news for the Canadian manufacturing sector.  The news release reports that some 30% tariffs will be eliminated immediately.

Canada is a strong market for investment by investors from Jordan.  This FTA should present many opportunities for investors from Jordan to seek out opportunities in Canada.

The next steps in the Canadian process is that the concluded FTA between Canada will be reviewed by the legal departments and put in a condition ready fro signing at a later date.  We may be over a year away from a coming into force date.

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