By finalizing the details of a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union that has in the works since 2008, Canada has forged the largest trade pact in its nation’s history.
Holdups within a couple of industries, mainly food-related, were overcome on the way to the Friday announcement of the comprehensive agreement, dubbed the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). It eliminates about 98% of tariffs between the two nations. A 2008 joint study concluded that such an agreement could increase Canada’s income by $12 billion annually. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the deal a “historic win” for both his nation and the more than two dozen nations tied to the EU. “It represents thousands of new jobs and a half-billion new customers for Canadian businesses,” he said. It is expected that the agreement will be ratified and enacted by 2015.
It’s not the only major trade pact either nation is pursing. Among others, Canada remains a player in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), which also includes the United States and several Southeast Asia/Pacific Rim economies. Meanwhile, the EU has been hard at work throughout the year with the U.S. on improving its massive existing trade agreement, which already involves a fairly short list of business-stymieing obstacles.
- Brian Shappell, CBA, CICP, NACM staff writer