BRUSSELS, Belgium. The European Union and Canada signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) on 30 October, overcoming delays due to opposition in Belgium.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Donald Tusk, president of the European Council and Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, signed CETA during the European Union-Canada Leaders’ Summit.
CETA will provide Canada with access to more than 500 mill. consumers in the EU’s 28-country market which generates $20 trill. in annual economic activity, according to the Canadian government. Under the trade agreement, 99% of tariffs will be eliminated, in most cases as soon as the agreement comes into force. Canada will eliminate €400 mill. in duties for goods originating in the EU. That figure will rise to €500 mill. a year at the end of transitional periods for duty elimination.
CETA also provides a framework for the movement of architects, accountants, engineers and other individuals in careers that require certifications by implementing mutual recognition of professional qualifications. Additionally, the agreement makes it easier for company staff and other professionals to work on either side of the Atlantic, and for businesses to move staff temporarily between the EU and Canada, in addition to other trade benefits.