Deal paves way for free trade area

Published on 21 October 2013 at 12:46

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was right to describe a new trade pact announced with the European Union on October 18 as a “big deal”, writes a Financial Times editorial.

The Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA), which will see “European carmakers such as Fiat and Volkswagen […] secure tariff-free access to the Canadian market” while “Alberta’s beef industry will be allowed to sell an additional 65,000 tonnes of tariff-free beef into Europe annually” is also important for the diplomatic precedent it sets, which could have an impact for the fledgling EU-US trade talks. The daily continues –

The EU has proved it can compromise and open historically protected markets – albeit cautiously and without undermining its own values and standards. […] But the EU should not raise its hopes too high: the US economy is far bigger than Canada’s and Washington’s weight at the Brussels negotiating table will be greater than Ottawa’s.

Meanwhile, an editorial in the Canadian daily, The Globe and Mail, adds –

The potential benefits to Canadian exporters are striking. CETA is the first major trade deal Canada has negotiated since NAFTA, 20 years ago.

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