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Canada-Honduras trade agreement

Monday, November 18, 2013

Depending on the results of national elections, to be held later this week, Honduras may or not approve a feee trade agreement with Canada, signed by both countries earlier this month in Ottawa.

The treaty would reduce trade barriers between the two nations.

Canada could increase exports of beef and pork, oil from corn and canola, fresh and frozen potatoes, various grains, and several kinds of processed food.

In addition, Canadians will able be to bid on contracts to provide services to Honduran public institutions, including the construction of roads, ports, and airports, and the operation of telecom and energy grids.

For their part, it will be easier for Honduran producers to find Canadian buyers for sugar, chocolate, fruit juices, and jams and other types of prepared food, as well as clothing.

Between 2008 and last year, trade between the two countries doubled, to $250 million, mostly consisting of Canadian exports.

Honduran sales to Canada fell to $32 million last year, from a peak of $51 million in 2010.

The Canada-Honduras agreement needs the approval of the Canadian parliament, as well as that of the Honduran Congress, which may or may cooperate.

Canada supported a 2009 coup, which overthrew then-president Juan Manuel Zelaya, on the grounds that he was improperly seeking reelection.

Zelaya’s wife, Xiomara Castro, is a leading candidate in Honduras’ current presidential campaign.