The Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union (or CETA) has long been an issue of discussion in European politics. This is a short list of six positive takeaways from the deal.
1 – No Tariffs. CETA provides for the abolition of custom duties between the signatories by around 92%. The estimated value for goods originating in the EU is over 400 million euros.
2 – European Competition. Canadian public procurement will be opened up to European competition: European citizens and companies will have more access to tenders than any other global commercial partner, and vie for the provision of goods and services.
3 – Professional Recognition. The Agreement facilitates mutual recognition of regulated professions – for example, architects and engineers.
4 – Upward Equivalency. Canada will adopt European standards on copyright and protection of intellectual property.
5 – Food and Scare Words. Food deserves a special mention: it’s among the favourite topics of critics of the deal. Some clarity is needed: CETA does not affect existing legislation on GMOs, although it could be good if the debate could be de-politicized, as the scientific consensus is clear that GMOs are safe. Further, the scare words that are usually thrown around, such as “chicken pumped with hormones” are just that: scare words. CETA does not supersede current legislation on food and the role of hormones in cattle or poultry.
6 – Product origin. 41 PDO and PGI products will get the same protection in Canada as they do in the European Union. This is pivotal in preventing the misleading marketing trend of “Italian Sounding”.
In conclusion, we have the utmost respect for those who have read the texts in question and reached a different conclusion; but we express our support to CETA. We believe the importance of the deal is enhanced by the American retreat on free trade, and in light of the recent, gargantuan free trade agreement with Japan, the EU is growing in importance as an underpinning element of the world market.
It is our hope that these developments will lead to closer ties among Western countries in the future.