Tuesday

31st May 2016

EU and Canada negotiators reach agreement on trade deal

  • The free trade deal is set to be signed in September (Photo: Jacob Earl)

The EU and Canada Tuesday (5 August) reached agreement on a free trade pact which is likely to be a blueprint for a larger such deal with the US.

Billed as a historic by Canada, the deal aims to boost trade and cut tariffs and is due to be signed at a bilateral summit next month in Ottawa.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

“The text is now being seen by EU member states and the Canadian provinces and territories and it will be formally concluded in September,” a European commission spokesperson told reporters in Brussels.

An initial political agreement last October with Ottawa led to months of wrangling over issues like dairy agricultural quotas, financial services, maritime transport, and investors' ability to sue governments in special arbitration proceedings outside national court systems.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the time announced the partial agreement in Brussels alongside EU commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.

The deal, talks on which started in May 2009, still needs the final approval of 28 member states in order to be ratified.

The Financial Times earlier this week reported Germany had opposed the investor protection clauses in the agreement over fears its standards on environment and consumer protection would be weakened.

But an unnamed Canadian official told the Wall Street Journal that Germany's concerns over the so-called "investor-state dispute settlement" had been settled months ago.

Last year, Romania also threatened to block the deal unless Ottawa lifted visa requirements for Romanian citizens.

Once enacted, bilateral trade between Canada and EU is expected to increase by some 20 percent while 98 percent of existing tariff lines are to be cut. Most industrial, agricultural and fisheries duties would be eliminated.

Canada’s trade ministry in a statement said it would create almost 80,000 jobs in the country and increase its annual income by around €8.2 billion.

The European Commission, for its part, estimates an annual GDP increase in the EU of €11.6 billion within seven years following the implementation of the agreement.

Details of the pact will not be made public until the September summit.

Canada’s provinces and territories have already received the complete text and have been briefed on its content as well as on next steps, notes Canada's trade ministry.

The 1,500 page document still needs to be translated into 23 different EU languages and then poured over by lawyers before final ratification, possibly in 2016.

The EU-Canada pact is widely viewed as a blue-print for a much larger free trade agreement, still under negotiation, with the US.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceSugar-Sweetened Beverage Sales Barometer Unveils Unhealthy Drinking Patterns in Europe
  2. EJCWelcomes EU Commission Code of Conduct on Countering Illegal Hate Speech Online
  3. Access NowEDRi & Access Now Withdraw From the EU Commission IT Forum Discussions
  4. EJCCalls on EU Parliament to Take Action Against MEP who Compared Israelis to "a rash"
  5. EU Sustainable Energy WeekHave Your Say On Europe's Energy Future At Our High-Level Policy Conference.
  6. CESIUpcoming On June 14: CESI@Noon On ‘Labour Market Integration Of Regugees’
  7. ACCAEducation and Training 2020 - Giving Young People the Workplace Skills They Need
  8. EPSUTrade Unions Back New Undeclared Work Platform
  9. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCould targeting children’s fitness boost academic performance?
  10. World VisionDeclares the World Humanitarian Summit a Positive Step in a Longer Journey to Ending Need
  11. EJCPresident Dr. Moshe Kantor on Brexit and the Jewish Question
  12. Swedish EnterprisesNew Rules For Posted Workers - Better Protection or the End of Posting ?

Latest News

  1. Anti-fraud chief: EU was 'wrong' to lift my immunity
  2. MEPs fast-track EU border guard plan
  3. EU never used power to scrutinise emissions labs
  4. EU firms free to ban Muslim headscarves, jurist says
  5. Stop dreaming of integrated EU utopia, says Tusk
  6. Poland questions legality of EU probe
  7. German NGOs want judges to probe EU-Canada trade deal
  8. EU watchdog calls for fines on shady lobbyists