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EU and Canada to remove more than 99% of tariffs

Staff writer |
Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper have reached an agreement on the key elements of a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) after months of negotiations.

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It will be the first free trade agreement between the European Union and a G8 country. Boosting our trade relations with Canada will generate new opportunities for growth and the creation of jobs in the EU. On the basis of this political breakthrough, the negotiators will now be able to continue the process and settle all the remaining technical issues. Subsequently, the agreement will need to be approved by Council and Parliament.

The EU-Canada agreement will remove over 99% of tariffs between the two economies and create sizeable new market access opportunities in services and investment. In the area of government procurement, Canada has not only taken commitments at the federal level, but has also opened its sub-federal level to European bidders to an extent never done before, thereby creating unique new opportunities.

Amongst the many benefits, the agreement will also improve the protection of intellectual property rights in Canada as well as the protection of the names of our flagship agricultural products. Once implemented, the agreement is expected to increase two-way bilateral trade in goods and services by 23% or €26 billion, fostering growth and employment on both sides of the Atlantic. The overall benefits of the agreement are expected to raise the level of the EU’s annual GDP by approximately €12 billion a year.

Besides bringing almost all tariffs to zero, CETA will also liberalise trade in services, in particular financial services, telecommunications, energy and transport. For the first time ever, all Canadian levels of government will open up their public procurement markets to European suppliers.

CETA will also bring the Canadian protection of intellectual property closer to the level of the EU, benefitting the pharmaceutical sector and exporters of agricultural products of specific geographical origin known as GIs.

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