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The Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement

The Canada-European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will bring benefits to every region of Canada. It will unlock new opportunities by opening new markets for Canadian businesses and creating new jobs for Canadian workers.  CETA is a 21st-century, gold-standard agreement – Canada’s most ambitious trade initiative ever. It is broader in scope and deeper in ambition than the historic North American Free Trade Agreement.

Canada’s historical and cultural ties with the EU make it an ideal partner for a comprehensive and ambitious free trade agreement. The EU, with its 28 member states, 500 million people and annual economic activity of almost $17 trillion, is the largest and most lucrative market in the world. It is also the world’s largest importing market for goods: the EU’s annual imports ($2.3 trillion) are worth more than Canada’s total gross domestic product (GDP), which stood at $1.8 trillion in 2012. Reducing and eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers will make Canadian goods, technologies and expertise more competitive in the lucrative EU market and benefit businesses of all sizes, as well as workers and their families.

A joint Canada-EU study, which supported the launch of negotiations, concluded that a trade agreement could boost Canada’s income by $12 billion annually and bilateral trade by 20 percent. Put another way, the economic benefit of a far-reaching agreement would be equivalent to creating almost 80,000 new jobs or increasing the average Canadian household’s annual income by $1,000. This is like adding one and a half times the total number of jobs currently found in Red Deer to the Canadian economy.

Across Canada, workers and businesses from a wide range of sectors will benefit from increased access to the EU’s lucrative market—the largest in the world. This enhanced access will give a competitive edge to Canadians in all 13 provinces and territories.

Albertans stand to benefit significantly from this preferred access to the EU market. The EU is already Alberta’s fourth-largest export destination after the United States, China, and Japan, and Alberta’s third-largest trading partner, after the United States and China. CETA will eliminate tariffs on almost all of Alberta’s key exports when it comes into force, and will provide access to new market opportunities in the EU. Exporters will also benefit from other CETA provisions that will improve conditions for export—provisions, for example, that ease regulatory barriers, reinforce intellectual property rights and ensure more transparent rules for market access.

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