Last week, Canada and the European Union signed a free trade agreement after four years of negotiations. In an email interview, Crina Viju, an assistant professor at the Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at Canada’s Carleton University, explained the terms and likely impact of the agreement.
WPR: What were the major points of agreement in the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), and what was left unresolved?
Crina Viju: As the final text of CETA has not been released due to ongoing drafting and legal analysis, I can outline a few major points overviewed in the summary documents published by the Canadian government. CETA represents the deepest trade and economic agreement ever concluded by Canada. In terms of trade in goods, once CETA enters into force, 98 percent of all EU tariff lines will see those tariffs reduced to zero. This includes 100 percent of nonagricultural goods, which means important increased access to the EU market for Canadian automakers. It also includes approximately 94 percent of agriculture goods, with full access to EU markets for Canadian grains, dairy products—but not poultry and eggs—and many seafood products, and an increase in the EU nonhormone beef and pork tariff-free quotas for Canada. At the same time, Canada has raised its tariff-free quota of cheese for the EU.