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Canada Aims for 'Tariff-free Zone' in Manufacturing

Will eliminate tariffs on manufacturing inputs, machinery and equipment

Canada plans to eliminate some 1,500 tariffs on manufacturing inputs, machinery and equipment by 2015, affecting some $4.9 billion in imports, officials said on March 10.

The majority of these 1,541 tariffs were eliminated on March 5.

The remainder would be gradually eliminated by no later than January 1, 2015, said Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

"Making Canada a tariff-free zone for manufacturers will keep us ahead of the pack," he said.

Trade Minister Peter Van Loan added it "will encourage our companies to acquire the equipment, parts and machinery they need to become more competitive."

The elimination of import tariffs last year saved manufacturers 88 million Canadian dollars (US$85.7 million), and an additional 300 million dollars (US$292.1 million) in duty savings is expected this year.

The bid to become the first G20 nation to eliminate all of these tariffs, meanwhile, is expected to create some 12,000 jobs "over time" in Canada's struggling manufacturing sector.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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