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Benefit: trade in goods
Canada and Europe: creating jobs and
opportunities together
Canada-European Union
Comprehensive Economic
and Trade Agreement
The rules governing trade in goods are at the core of all free
trade agreements and cover aspects such as tariffs, regulatory
obstacles (known as non-tariff barriers) and rules of origin.
Trade is equivalent in value to more than 60 percent of
Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP), and exports are
directly linked to one in five Canadian jobs. Canada’s
prosperity requires expansion beyond our borders into new
markets for economic opportunities that serve to grow
Canada’s exports and investment.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and European Commission
President José Manuel Barroso have announced that Canada
and the European Union have concluded negotiations on the
Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. This
agreement is by far Canada’s most ambitious trade initiative.
Indeed, it is deeper in ambition and broader in scope than
the historic North American Free Trade Agreement
Canada will now be one of the only developed countries in
the world to have guaranteed preferential access to the more
than 800 million consumers in the world’s two largest
economies, the EU and the United States. With 28 member
states, 500 million people and annual economic activity of
almost $18 trillion, the EU is the world’s largest economy. It
is also the world’s largest importing market for goods: the
EU’s annual imports alone are worth more than Canada’s
GDP. Preferential access to this market offers tremendous
opportunities and a real competitive edge for Canadian
workers, businesses, exporters and investors.
This agreement will create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for the benefit of all Canadians. A joint Canada-EU
study that supported the launch of negotiations concluded
that a trade agreement with the EU could bring a 20-percent
boost in bilateral trade and a $12-billion annual increase to
Canada’s economy. Put another way, this is the economic
equivalent of adding $1,000 to the average Canadian family’s
income or almost 80,000 new jobs to the Canadian economy.
On the day the Canada-EU agreement comes into force,
nearly 100 percent of all EU tariff lines on non-agricultural
products will be duty-free, along with close to 94 percent of
all EU tariff lines on agricultural products. Overall, the
elimination of tariffs will make Canada’s world-class products more competitive, resulting in increased exports and
higher sales. This, in turn, will generate more jobs, higher
wages and greater long-term prosperity, directly benefiting
hard-working Canadians.
We are all very familiar with the richness and diversity of our
primary sectors (that is, sectors that make direct use of natural resources). We also know that manufacturing— including sectors like the automotive and chemicals and plastics
industries—touches every part of the economy. There are
also significant manufacturing interests even within the
primary sectors—interests such as agri-food, forest products,
fish and seafood, and metal fabrication, to name just a few.
The Canada-EU trade agreement will provide benefits for all
of these manufacturing sub-sectors and for every hardworking Canadian employed in them.
The agreement also covers a wide range of issues that will
translate into real benefits for Canadians, including improved access to EU markets for goods and services; greater
certainty, transparency and protection for investments; and
new opportunities in EU procurement markets. Other benefits include mechanisms for enhanced cooperation with the
EU in areas of mutual interest, such as regulatory development and labour mobility. Greater access to such a large,
dynamic market will directly benefit Canadians through
more jobs, higher wages and greater long-term prosperity.
New export opportunities in Europe
Under the Canada-EU trade agreement, world-class Canadian
products will enjoy preferential access to the EU, and Canadians
will have the tools and support they need to succeed in this
lucrative market. The benefits will be shared among those
who produce primary products (for example, from the minerals and agricultural sectors) and those who turn them into
value-added processed and manufactured products.
Tariffs on almost all Canadian primary products will be
eliminated when the agreement comes into force. Equally
important to our economy’s health and well-being is the fact
that tariffs on manufactured products will also be eliminated.
Cat. No.: FR5-62/2011 ISBN: 978-1-100-53905-8
Did you know?
Of the EU’s more than 9,000 tariff lines, approximately 98 percent will be duty-free on
the very first day the Canada-EU agreement
comes into force. By comparison, only
29 percent of tariff lines were duty-free on
the first day that NAFTA took effect.
But improving market access is not just a matter of tariff
elimination. The agreement also includes key provisions to
ensure the non-discriminatory treatment of Canadian products in the EU and parameters aimed at limiting the use of
import and export restrictions.
This is good news for Canadian businesses, which will benefit from lower business costs and fewer regulatory obstacles.
Benefit: trade in services
Service industries are vital to the Canadian economy.
Canada is one of the largest exporters of services in the world
and has significant expertise in a wide range of fields, including management, computer and information technology,
architecture, engineering and many others. In 2013, service
industries employed more than 13.8 million Canadians and
accounted for 70 percent of Canada’s total GDP, making
services by far the largest economic sector in the country.
Citizenship or residency requirements, barriers to temporary
entry, and ownership and investment restrictions can all act
as barriers to exports of services. These barriers will be reduced or eliminated, directly benefiting workers and businesses across Canada.
The agreement gives Canadian service suppliers the best
market access the EU has ever granted to any of its free trade
agreement partners. The Canada-EU trade agreement will
establish greater transparency in the EU services market,
resulting in better, more secure and more predictable market
access for Canadians.
The Canada-EU agreement’s investment chapter will provide
Canadian and EU investors with greater certainty, stability,
transparency and protection for their investments while
preserving full rights for governments to legislate and regulate in the public interest.
Benefit: government procurement
Finally, the Canada-EU trade agreement also gives Canadian
suppliers of goods and services secure, preferential access to
the EU’s $3.3-trillion government procurement market,
providing them with significant new export opportunities.
The agreement expands and secures opportunities for
Canadian firms to supply their goods and services to the
EU’s 28 member states and thousands of regional and local
government entities. Greater access to the world’s largest
procurement market will benefit workers and their families
in sectors that are vital to Canada’s economy.
As Canadian companies explore the
opportunities the Canada-European Union
trade agreement offers to grow their
businesses, they can count on the support
of the Government of Canada—through, for
example, the Canadian Trade Commissioner
Service, Export Development Canada, the
Canadian Commercial Corporation and the
Business Development Bank of Canada.
Benefit: investment
Investment plays an important role in the Canadian economy
and is crucial in linking Canada to global value chains.
Greater investment by foreign sources in Canada and by
Canadian businesses abroad stimulates economic growth
and job creation, provides new technologies and increases
competition in the marketplace.
To learn more about the Canada-European
Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade
Agreement, please visit