EU-Canada Trade Deal to be Signed by Governments
The European Commission has transmitted the EU-Canada trade deal (CETA) to member state governments for signature.
The agreement eliminates almost all customs duties in trade between Canada and EU immediately and also contains provisions to facilitate the trade in services.
“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,” said EC President Jean-Claude Juncker.
“CETA is a milestone in European trade policy,” added EU trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström. “It will help to generate much-needed growth and jobs while fully upholding Europe’s high standards in areas like food safety, environmental protection and people’s rights at work. ”
Although from a strict legal standpoint, the Euroepan Commission considers this agreement to fall under exclusive EU competence, Malmström explained that the commission decided to propose CETA for signature as a mixed agreement which requires the consent of the European Parliament, and of all member states through national ratification procedures. She called on member states to show leadership by defending it in their parliaments and with citizens.
CETA will scrap almost all customs duties from day one and facilitate trade in services ranging from maritime services, telecommunications, and engineering to environmental services and accountancy. The agreement also 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.
CETA contains rules on the protection of labor rights and the environment. Both sides pledged to promote the EU’s high standards working together to also encourage others around the world—particularly developing countries—to raise their own standards.
CETA introduces a new investment court system and enhanced rules on investment protection. This ensures that the need to encourage foreign investors by protecting their investments fully respects governments’ freedom to act in the interests of their citizens. The system guarantees EU governments’ right to regulate and it makes the resolution of investment disputes fairer and more transparent. As such it serves as an important step towards the EU’s ultimate goal of a global investment court.