CETA, which covers about one-fifth of the global economy, needed the best part of a decade to negotiate and was signed in 2016. About 98% of tariffs on goods traded between Canada and the EU were exempt from tariffs and were called “the most ambitious trade deal Ever concluded by Europe.” Most tariffs were lifted when the agreement entered into force provisionally in 2017, with the main remaining step being full ratification, which could take a few more years. When it comes to public opposition to CETA, no one can predict how it will end. We are neither informed nor consulted on important economic issues. CETA is not a concluded agreement. This is a “provisional” agreement and, despite the signatures of Harper and Barroso, it will have to be ratified. However, it will only enter into force in 2015. Free trade agreements are treaties that govern customs duties, taxes and tariffs imposed on countries on their imports and exports. The most well-known regional trade agreement in the United States is the North American Free Trade Agreement. But we all know that it is not wisdom to put dollars above health, life. Local issues, consultation rights and land development, do not appear in the consciousness of CETA. Indigenous peoples simply do not exist in a silver landscape.
Apparently, nor is the Canadian Parliament, whose opinions are not collected and for which there is no possibility of debate. In this Q&A interview, Daniel Benatuil, EDC`s Economist for Europe, shares his findings on the pros and cons of the new CETA. The least we can demand is that the agreement be published. Talk to your MP and your MLA and insist that he or she receive, by whatever means, the full text and enlighten his or her constituency about its pros and cons. Environmental protection measures can prevent the destruction of natural resources and crops. Labour laws prevent poor working conditions. The World Trade Organization enforces free trade agreements. The reality is that, while the nature of bilateral agreements with the EU is different, all the drawbacks are significant, including the lack of full access to services, which accounts for 80% of the UK economy. Let us take the example of Norway, which is at the opposite pole to Canada.
Oslo has full access to the EU`s internal market, but, in return, it is more of a “rule-maker” than a “rulemaker”, meaning it is required to comply with EU rules without having to vote on it; it must accept free movement; contribute to EU programmes and budgets; and carry out customs controls for goods entering the EU. In terms of challenges, if Canadian companies commit to entering the EU, it will take time and hard work to develop the strategy. It`s a long-term game. But the other side is that if you offer a government order in Canada, you will soon also see German, Dutch and British companies offering on them. There will also be more goods and services from the EU. If you are a small auto parts manufacturer, there is potential for increased competition from European suppliers. It is a two-way street and that is inherent in all free trade agreements….