EU and Canada sign CETA
Today, the EU and Canada signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and a new Strategic Partnership Agreement that deepens cooperation in vital areas such as human rights, international peace and security, economic and sustainable development, justice, freedom and security.
European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, speaking at his joint press conference with the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and European Council President, Donald Tusk, said, “Today, the people of Canada and the European Union have opened a new chapter in their relationship. More than half a billion people on both sides of the Atlantic will enjoy new opportunities. For many people, it will mean new jobs and better jobs.”
By removing almost all import duties, CETA will allow European exporters of industrial and agricultural goods to save up to 500 million euros every year. The agreement protects workers’ rights, environmental standards and consumer safety. European products with geographical indications will enjoy special status on the Canadian market. Governments will retain all of their powers to legislate, regulate and provide public services. “CETA promotes all of the things that Canadians and Europeans care about, said President Juncker, “decency in the workplace, our health and safety, our cultural diversity, the quality of the land, sea and air that surround us.”
A Joint Interpretative Statement with legal status guarantees the good will of both parties, and serves as a guide to the future application of the deal. A new public system for resolving disputes brings greater transparency, giving investors confidence that rules will be respected at all times. The system enshrines the right of governments to regulate, including when such regulations affect a foreign investment.
By signing the Strategic Partnership Agreement, the EU and Canada have taken their relationship to a new level. The agreement deepens cooperation in vital areas of policy including security, the fight against terrorism, defence, migration, climate change, energy, development, research and innovation. President Juncker said, “Today we have signed two agreements that not only symbolise our commitment to a shared future but also set out a common project that will improve the lives of millions of Canadians and Europeans.”