COMPREHENSIVE ECONOMIC AGREEMENT NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE EUROPEAN UNION

The following notice was published by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade on December 20, 2008.

The government of Canada is seeking the views of Canadians on the scope of a possible comprehensive economic agreement between Canada and the European Union (EU).

In June of 2007, Canada and the EU agreed to study the costs and benefits of a closer economic partnership that might result from the removal of examining existing tariff and non-tariff barriers to the flow of goods, services and capital.

The results of a joint study released in October of 2008 indicate that a closer economic partnership with the EU would result in Gross Domestic Product gains from liberalizing goods and services trade of up to $ 12 billion (or € 8.2 billion) for Canada and $ 17 billion (€ 11.6 billion) for the EU in the first seven years after liberalization. Canada and the EU have committed to defining the parameters of a comprehensive economic agreement, with a view to launching negotiations as soon as possible in 2009.

In 2007, bilateral goods and services trade between Canada and the EU totalled $109.4 billion, with almost 20% growth in Canadian exports from 2006 to 2007. Canada’s goods exports to the EU totalled $38.3 billion in 2007, with top goods exports consisting of chemicals, transport equipment, metals, minerals, machinery and equipment, electronic equipment, paper products, and processed foods. Imported goods from the EU amounted to $42.3 billion in 2007 and consisted primarily of machinery and equipment, chemicals, motor vehicles and parts, transport equipment, petroleum, beverages and tobacco, processed foods and metal products. Canada exported $12.8 billion in services to the EU, while importing $16.0 billion in 2007.

The EU has concluded several trade agreements, including with Israel (2000), Chile (2003), Mexico (2000) and Lebanon (2006). The EU also has concluded economic partnership agreements with Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (representing 15 countries).

The EU and Canada have signed an agreement on cooperation between EU and Canadian customs administrators to combat fraud and to facilitate trade (1997), a veterinary agreement to improve bilateral trade in live animals and animal products (1999), a wine and spirits agreement (2003), and a civil aviation safety agreement (2007).

This notice is available from the Canada Gazette at: canadagazette.gc.ca/partI/2008/20081220/html/notice-e.html#d104

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