Recently the Prime Minister of Canada and the European Commission announced that they were agreed that the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) would enter into force on September 21, 2017. The CETA will create jobs, strengthen economic relations and boost Canada’s trade with the world’s second-largest market. The CETA is a progressive free trade agreement which covers virtually all sectors and aspects of Canada-EU trade in order to eliminate or reduce trade barriers. The agreement was signed on October 30, 2016, in Brussels.
Currently, only 25% of EU tariff lines on Canadian goods are duty-free. On CETA’s entry into force, the EU will remove tariffs on 98% of its tariff lines. Once CETA is fully implemented, the EU will have eliminated tariffs on 99% of its tariff lines. Once CETA is ratified, Canada will be the only G-7 country to have a free-trade agreement with the world’s two largest markets: the EU and the United States.
The top benefits include duty-free access for forestry and wood products, new markets for agricultural and agri-foods products, new markets for fish and seafood, and improved access for professional services. Current European Union tariffs on Canadian fish and seafood average 11%, with peaks of 25%, which will be reduced or eliminated under the agreement. Salmon, accounting for the majority of British Columbia’s fish and seafood exports to Europe, has faced an average tariff of 5.5%, which would be eliminated under the Canada-EU trade agreement.