EU President Jean-Claude Juncker has hailed The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) as the best ever negotiated by the European Union.
After receiving the green light from the Council and the consent of the European Parliament it will be possible to provisionally apply the agreement. But what exactly will the deal bring?
From day one, CETA will scrap almost all customs duties, saving EU firms hundreds of millions of euros a year in duty payments, thus also benefitting European consumers directly, by reducing prices and increasing choice of products imported from Canada.
It will boost trade in services, create new market access and provide better access for European suppliers of services in which EU companies are world leaders, ranging from maritime services, telecoms, and engineering to environmental services and accountancy.
It will make it easier for service suppliers to travel between the EU and Canada to connect with their customers. It will facilitate the recognition of professional qualifications for regulated professions (such as architects, accountants and engineers), opening up new opportunities for professionals in these sectors. And it will allow EU companies to bid for Canadian public contracts at all levels of government – federal, provincial and local – and in areas from IT systems to roads to trains.
Juncker said: "The trade agreement between the EU and Canada is our best and most progressive trade agreement and I want it to enter into force as soon as possible. It provides new opportunities for European companies, while promoting our high standards for the benefit of our citizens. I have looked at the legal arguments and I have listened to Heads of State or Government and to national Parliaments. Now it is time to deliver. The credibility of Europe's trade policy is at stake."
Canada is the EU’s 12th most important trading partner. The EU is Canada's second biggest trading partner after the US and accounts for nearly 10 percent of its external trade. Trade in goods between the EU and Canada is worth almost €60 billion a year. Machinery, transport equipment and chemicals are the EU's main exports to Canada. Commercial services – mostly transport, travel, insurance and communication services – exceed €27 billion (2014).
Benefits at a glance. CETA will: