The Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Senate adopts C-31: Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
May 19, 2017
The Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade is confident the trade deal will benefit both countries’ economies and signal Canada’s strong, ongoing support for an emerging democracy and a longstanding partner.
Following its unanimous approval by the Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, was tabled in the Senate on Thursday and was unanimously adopted.
Canada has had long standing relations with Ukraine. Beginning in 1891, when Canada was a young nation, tens of thousands of Ukrainian immigrants began settling in the Prairies. In 1991, Canada was the first Western nation to recognize the independence of Ukraine and this is the first ever trade agreement for Ukraine with a partner outside of Europe or Central Asia.
This is more than just a free trade agreement. In addition to the reduction of tariffs (Ukrainian goods entering Canada would be duty-free), it includes a clause on anti-corruption mirroring the Criminal Code of Canada, as well as environmental protection requirements. For Canadian companies, the deal will give unfettered access to a market of 45 million potential customers.
Economic stability and democratic freedom go hand in hand. It is important for Canada to help Ukrainians advance their democracy, develop the rule of law and strengthen their national institutions.
Acknowledging that the Ukrainian government is making great strides towards democracy, committee members look forward to the day when Ukrainians can enjoy the freedoms and benefits that come with living in a vibrant, thriving democracy.
The committee believes this agreement is an important signal of Canada’s commitment to openness in trade and investment and will further deepen Canadian-Ukrainian relations.
“This trade agreement reinforces Canada’s longstanding support of Ukraine.
This is not a Ukrainian-Canadian issue. This is good for Canada as it positions us as a trading nation actively pursuing opportunities abroad. That is the role Canada has to play on the international stage.”
- Senator Raynell Andreychuk, Chair of the committee
“The committee’s support for Ukraine continues at this juncture under the threat of Russian military intervention and efforts to destabilize the country. This trade agreement reinforces Canada’s commitment to advancing democracy abroad and will create a positive economic impact for Ukraine.”
- Senator Percy E. Downe, Deputy Chair of the committee
- The Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement was signed in Kyiv in 2016.
- The agreement applies to the exchange of goods, but services and investments could be added when it is reviewed after two years.
- It is projected that Canada's Gross Domestic Product will expand by nearly $30 million as a result of this agreement. Simultaneously, the Ukrainian GDP will grow by over $18 million.
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