The Dawn of a Historic Trade Agreement between Canada and the EU
On Friday September 26, 2014 Canada and the European Union signed a historic free trade agreement. The 1600-page text of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was released in both Canada and Europe on the same day.
The faltering of World Trade Organization trade liberalization negotiations and a lack of an appetite for a NAFTA-EU trade and investment agreement was the driving force behind CETA.
In fact, Canada is the first of the G7 countries to enter into such an agreement with the EU. This will give Canadian companies an advantage over U.S. counterparts for some time, as negotiations between the EU and the U.S. have only just commenced.
The agreement still awaits ratification by respective lawmakers, and may still encounter obstacles in the EU, as several member states, most particularly Germany, have objected to the investor-state arbitration provisions. The current version of the released text is for informational purposes only and is subject to further legal review.
In a statement released in regard to the agreement by the Prime Minister of Canada and the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, the leaders expressed their commitment to strengthening and deepening Canada and the EU’s strategic partnership and to contributing to mutual prosperity through continued cooperation as a means to creating more jobs, growth, trade and investment.
CETA is to ensure equal treatment for EU investors entering Canadian markets and the breakdown of both direct and indirect barriers to investment and trade between the EU and Canada. Areas covered by the negotiations include: intellectual property, government procurement, regulations relating to rules of origin, trade of goods and services, and mobility of labour. CETA is the broadest free trade agreement in Canadian history and will have a significant effect on all economic areas.
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