CETA trade pact with EU clears major hurdle with final text
It looks like the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) signed between Canada and the European Union (EU) has survived its near-death experience, with the announcement on August 5 that negotiators have agreed on a...
It looks like the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) signed between Canada and the European Union (EU) has survived its near-death experience, with the announcement on August 5 that negotiators have agreed on a detailed text of the agreement.
The pact was signed in October 2013 after four years of negotiations, and has the potential to break down most of the tariff walls between Canada and the 28-nation EU bloc, add $12 billion annually to Canada’s economy, and create up to 80,000 new jobs. Trouble struck in July, however, as Germany reportedly rejected the terms of the deal because the treaty’s investor protection provisions are not as strict as they would like. Others outside the German government called for the so-called investor-state dispute settlements (ISDS) clause to be hived off the pact and dealt with nation by nation.
On August 5, the federal government finally laid out a timetable for ratifying the 1,500-page agreement, and also said that ISDS was not a stumbling block and that Germany was on board.
Trade Minister Ed Fast said he looks forward to a Canada-EU Summit in Ottawa next month, where CETA will be the centrepiece. CETA will “create jobs and economic opportunities for hard-working Canadians in every region of the country,” Fast said in a 19-page written statement that included endorsements from 125 business leaders and associations.
Once CETA is implemented, 98 per cent of the tariffs between the partners would drop to zero.
The precise wording of the agreement is not being made public immediately, but officials said the 1,500-page deal contains initiatives that will ease the flow of goods and people between Canada and Europe.