ED Fast, Minister of International Trade, this week welcomed the arrival of two C-130K Hercules aircraft at Cascade Aerospace in Abbotsford, B.C. Under a contract negotiated between the National Defense Secretariat of Mexico and the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC), Cascade Aerospace will modernize, maintain, repair and overhaul the two planes.

This contract represents 70 full-time jobs at Cascade over the next year and will sustain 100 high-value jobs at Cascade, with local suppliers in the defence and aerospace field and in other sectors.

Fast said: “Our government’s top priority remains creating jobs and opportunities. British Columbia’s aerospace and technology companies contribute billions of dollars to the Canadian economy every year. Thanks to their highly skilled and talented workforce and capacity to produce highly specialized products and services, Canadian companies compete with the best in the world and win.”

According to the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries, Canada’s defence and security sector employs approximately 109,000 people.

Almost three quarters of aerospace sector output is exported, with exports valued at more than $15 billion in 2012.

Aerospace is Canada’s largest exporter of leading-edge technology—ranked third worldwide in civil aircraft production.

Since NAFTA came into force in 1994, Canada and Mexico’s bilateral merchandise trade has grown more than sixfold, surpassing $30 billion annually in 2011 and 2012.