EU signs with Canada historic trade agreement, others to follow

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, received yesterday Stephen Harper, Canadian Prime Minister. They together reached a political agreement on the key elements of a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) after months of intense negotiations. (EC Audiovisual Services, 18/10/2013).

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission (on the right), received yesterday Stephen Harper, Canadian Prime Minister. They together reached a political agreement on the key elements of a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) after months of intense negotiations. (EC Audiovisual Services, 18/10/2013).

The announcement of the conclusion of the EU-Canada free trade agreement yesterday not only opens a new chapter in the history of EU-Canada relations, but the solutions agreed in sensitive chapters, like agriculture and animal products and public procurement will serve as a base for the under negotiation similar pact with the US. The Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, was in Brussels yesterday and signed a common declaration with the President of the European Commission, Manuel Barroso, entitled, “A new era in EU-Canada relations”.

No tariffs

The agreement provides that both sides will fully eliminate tariffs on more than 99% of all tariff lines. Agricultural products and foodstuffs is another very important chapter of the agreement. According to this chapter, by the end of the transitional periods, Canada and the EU will liberalise, respectively, 92.8 % and 93.5 % of trade in agriculture. There are also other important sectors covered by the agreement like the automotive, public procurement, non-tariff barriers, recognition of qualifications and investment protection.

Given that both economies are advanced, the trade in services accounts for almost half of the total. GDP gains for the EU only from this sector could amount to up to €5.8 billion per year, once the agreement is fully implemented. Investments remain the most important mechanism through which services are delivered and manufacturing may be carried out. In 2011, the EU’s investment stock in Canada was around €220 billion, while Canadian investment in the EU amounted to almost €140 billion.

Recognising specialities

It’s very interesting to mention that the agreement provides for protection of special European foods that are not covered by the existing arrangements. In this respect Canada will recognise Geographical Indications for a long list of European agricultural products from a specific geographical origin, so-called Geographical Indications (GIs). According to a Press release issued after the joint Barroso- Harper declaration gives characteristic examples of GIs names to be protected by Canada, as for example the Greek Feta cheese , Grana Padano, Roquefort, Elia Kalamatas Olives and Aceto balsamico di Modena.

The agreement also offers the possibility to add more products’ names to this list in the future. In addition, some prominent EU GIs such as Prosciutto di Parma and Prosciutto di San Daniele will be authorised to use their name when sold in Canada, which was not the case for more than 20 years.

The value of bilateral trade in goods between the EU and Canada was €61.8 billion in 2012. Machinery, transport equipment and chemicals dominate the EU’s exports of goods to Canada, and also constitute an important part of the EU’s imports of goods from Canada.

More trade agreements

Concerning the other major EU trade endeavour in North America, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States, the talks started with a round held on 8-12 July 2013 in Washington, D.C. . However, the second round scheduled for 7-11 October in Brussels never took place. The US Administration was not able to send to Brussels officials from USTR and other US Government agencies, due to the shutdown of the American civil services. Now that the US administration is again operational, the two sides will plan the continuation of talks. The EU has also started negotiations for trade agreements, with its other key trading partners.

Yesterday, 18 October, the Council adopted a mandate asking the European Commission to start investment negotiations with China. The main targets of these negotiations are the progressive abolition of restrictions on trade and foreign direct investment. The EU has opened trade negotiations also with Japan, the ASEAN countries of south-east Asia and the Mercosur countries of Latin America. As for the Southern Mediterranean countries, the EU has launched negotiations with Morocco, for a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA). The Commission also has a mandate to start a similar process with Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan.

Coming back to Europe, though, things are not so bright. The EU has recently concluded negotiations for a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) with Moldova, Armenia and Georgia, but none of these has been applied yet. In the case of Armenia, the country decided all of a sudden to join the customs union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, abandoning the prospect of a trade agreement with the Union.

All in all, after the break down of the Doha round of negotiations for a new global trade arrangement (multilateral) under the roof of the World Trade Organisation, the US and the EU have taken the bilateral way. The break-down of the WTO option is charged to the US, because Washington abruptly abandoned the Trade Round of Doha two years ago. In view of that, the EU is now actively pursuing the option of signing bilateral agreements with key countries. Obviously bilateral negotiations favour the most powerful trading partners like the US and the EU. Probably this is why the US didn’t want to follow the WTO option.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Focus on EU’s external action and building our stronger inner core: von der Leyen at the Special European Council

EU to finance new investment projects with extra borrowing; French and Italian deficits to be tolerated

How responsible businesses can step forward to fight coronavirus

‘Crippling to our credibility’ that number of women peacekeepers is so low: UN chief

Italy’s populist government appears determined to drive EU economy and markets into recession

Women outliving men ‘everywhere’, new UN health agency statistics report shows

4 ways governments can support start-ups and save their economies

UN chief condemns deadly attacks in Afghanistan

The Indian miracle state pointing the way to global sustainability

How studying genetics and lifestyle can shape a healthier MENA region

Trade: EU-Singapore agreement to enter into force on 21 November 2019

‘Grave consequences’ await if new deadly escalation of violence in Gaza continues – top UN official

EU Parliament approves CETA: the EU-Canada free trade deal sees the light in Trump’s gloomy era

Writing a new story in gender inequalities: women gaining space and respect in medicine

Asia and Pacific on course to miss all Sustainable Development Goals, says UN region chief

Unanswered questions for Europe’s youth in President Juncker’s State of Union

INTERVIEW: UN’s top official in North Korea foresees ‘surge’ in humanitarian aid

Despite progress, companies face gender equality ‘backlash’: UN business body

International partners pledge $1.2 billion to help cyclone-hit Mozambique recover, ‘build back better’

ITU Telecom World 2016: it’s all about working together

We’re facing a ‘cold crunch,’ and it’s nothing to do with the polar vortex

How we can build our way out of the crisis

Suffering of thousands of war-affected Syrian children ‘unprecedented and unacceptable’

FROM THE FIELD: India’s plastic waste revolution

Post-Brexit muddled times: the resignation of UK’s top ambassador and Theresa May’s vague plans

Can the EU afford to block China’s business openings to Europe by denying her the ‘market economy status’?

Worldwide UN family celebrates enduring universal values of human rights

How bad is the Eurozone economy? The ECB thinks too bad

6.1 billion EUR for sustainable fisheries and safeguarding fishing communities

Libya: Attack on foreign ministry, an attack on all Libyans, stresses UN envoy

Coldplay stop touring to save the world: is pop music going sustainable?

These are the world’s most tree-covered countries

Pakistan: UN strongly condemns terrorist attack that leaves scores dead and wounded at election rally

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Unprecedented Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction to Combat Climate Change

First calls under Horizon Europe to be launched by the European Research Council

Women ‘vital’ to peace efforts and ensuring long-lasting stability in Afghanistan

Amazon wildfires are tomorrow’s breathtaker

UN chief condemns explosion at election rally in Zimbabwe that injured dozens, including senior politicians

This incredibly detailed map of Africa could help aid and development

EU Citizenship Report: empowering citizens and protecting their rights

Use “blockchain” model to cut small firms’ costs and empower citizens, urge MEPs

“ASEM: Global Partners for Global Challenges”, a Sting Exclusive by China’s Ambassador to the EU

115 rejections and no pay. What it really takes to be an entrepreneur

What Mary Poppins teaches us about behavioural economics

The economic cost of anti-vaccination movements in Italy

Medical students and their ability to edify women’s rights

Reconciliation helps ‘repair fractures’, enable lasting peace, Security Council hears

The challenge to be a good healthcare professional

Drought in Europe: Member States agree on support measures proposed by the Commission

State aid: Commission approves €24.7 million of Italian support to compensate Alitalia for further damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak

This is the world’s greenest football club – and you’ve probably never even heard of it

EU budget: Commission proposes major funding increase for stronger borders and migration

11 lessons the history of business can teach us about its future

The road ahead to building a more sustainable world

Protests, violence in Haiti prompts international call for ‘realistic and lasting solutions’ to crisis

Mental health and suicide prevention: the contradictory access in a reference city of southern Brazil

Coronavirus: a common path to Europe’s safe re-opening

UN launches innovative programme to detect and disrupt terrorist travel

Superbugs: MEPs advocate further measures to curb use of antibiotics

The World Bank’s 2020 country classifications explained

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s