Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada-EU Trade Enters New Era of Openness as CETA Comes into Force

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada-EU Trade Enters New Era of Openness as CETA Comes into Force

Article excerpt

Canada-EU trade enters new era with CETA

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OTTAWA - Canadian companies have much greater access to one of the world's largest markets starting Thursday, as a major trade deal between Canada and the European Union enters into force.

Known as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA, the deal clears barriers to trade for Canada's largest trading partner after the United States.

As of Thursday, over 98 per cent of Canadian goods will be able to enter the EU without tariffs, compared with only 25 per cent a day earlier, which the federal government says will improve export opportunities for a range of Canadian producers, processors and manufacturers.

Todd Evans, a principal at Export Development Canada Economics, said the agreement gives Canadian companies access to a $20 trillion market at a time when there is a lot of doubt on where trade relations with the United States are headed.

"It's very, very important for Canadian companies, especially nowadays when a lot of companies are really thinking of diversifying their export business given the uncertainty they're seeing south of the border."

The deal not only clears the way for goods, which Canada exported $42 billion worth of last year, but also codifies access to services, which Canadian companies sold an additional $18 billion worth in 2016, said Evans.

"A lot of people, when they talk about trade, they tend to focus on just the merchandise goods trade. That's still the bulk of our trade but services are growing quickly."

The deal will also mean Canadian companies can bid for work at all levels of the EU government procurement market, which the federal government says is worth an estimated $3. …

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