Ottawa may scrap more import tariffs

Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:41pm EDT
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Canadian government is considering lowering some import tariffs, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said in a television interview on Monday without giving any details.

"We've eliminated a lot of tariffs in our budgets, particularly the budget last year, and we continue to look at tariffs," Flaherty told CTV.

"Tariffs are a barrier to trade and to the extent that we can get rid of those kinds of barriers, we'd like to do so. That's all I can tell you so far," he said.

He provided no further details.

Flaherty is due to present a fiscal update at some point this autumn, which he has said would not contain budget-like measures.

In the 2010 budget, Ottawa eliminated tariffs on a broad range of goods imported by manufacturers. Flaherty said at the time that the move would encourage investment and productivity. While it was welcomed by manufacturers, a leading industry group said its benefit to business was marginal.

Flaherty's latest comments come as Canada and the European Union enter a ninth round of negotiations aimed at a deal to knock down trade barriers on goods and services and boost two-way trade by 20 percent.

(Reporting by Louise Egan; editing by Rob Wilson)

<p>Finance Minister Jim Flaherty speaks during a news conference in Ottawa October 13, 2011. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>