Over the last year free trade has become one of the hottest political topics. Weather it is a GM factory in Ontario laying off 600 people to move their jobs to Mexico, President Trump pulling out of the TTP deal and the TTIP negotiations, as well as wanting to renegotiate NAFTA, or 180,000 people in Germany demonstrating against a new free trade agreement all over the country last September, free trade agreements cause controversy. Even though nowadays many people have a critical attitude towards free trade agreements, the potential they have for economic growth should not be underestimated.
Yesterday the GCCIR team attended a Business Forum on CETA, organised by the Alberta Government in cooperation with other federal and local institutions. We learned a lot and we want to share with you some ways in which your business can, in fact, benefit from the new Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA). Learn about what new opportunities arise, and where you can find useful information about this new trade agreement between Canada and the world‘s largest integrated market with 500 million consumers and an annual GDP of $21 trillion!
Here are some of the most significant benefits of CETA that will make trading your products and/or services with the EU much easier:
- Eliminate most tariffs: On the day that CETA is put in place (likely before Summer 2017), the EU will remove tariffs on 98% of its tariff lines for Canadian products. This will increase to up to 99% over the following seven years. Use the following link to see how much you will be saving in tariffs when exporting your products to Europe, and keep in mind that competitors in other countries still need to pay these fees to access the EU market (EU Tariffs). If you are exporting agricultural or agri-food products, fish and seafood, or automotive products, special quotas will be in place for the first few years (Canadian Tariff Guide under CETA). All other products can be exported to the EU free of tariffs.
- Cuts red tape and reduces barriers to trade: For example, Canadian companies that produce goods that require safety testing can get European certification at the same time and from the same organisation that certifies their products for the Canadian market. This significantly reduces costs and time, since the products no longer need to be shipped to Europe in order to be tested separately for that market. Customs procedures will also be made easier for Canadian exporters.
- CETA improves labour mobility: CETA introduces a concept called Temporary Entry. This makes it easier for short-term business visitors, intra-company transferees, investors, contract service suppliers, and independent professionals to conduct business in the EU and vis-a-versa.
- Access to EU public contracts: Once CETA is in place, Canadian companies will have access to EU public contracts at all levels. Have a look at the European TED Webpage , where each year 460 000 requests for tenders are published, totalling about 420 billion Euro in value. Now with CETA, Canadian companies can submit tenders for these EU projects.
- Better protection of investment: The new free trade agreement insures that investments are better protected. CETA also allows for more transparency and provides Canadian investors with a more favourable and secure access to the EU market
As you can see, there are a lot of possibilities for Canadian businesses, of all sizes and in all sectors, to benefit from this new free trade agreement. American or Asian competitors are still required to pay import taxes, if they want to sell their goods in the EU. It is now up to Canadian businesses to use the advantages that CETA provides them with and establish their products, goods, and services in the European market in the years to come. Not only will this ensure more growth for businesses, it will also create new jobs and prosperity for Canadian workers.
You can find more information about CETA on the following webpage: