The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is the progressive trade agreement that has been established between Canada and the European Union ever since negotiations came to a head on October 18, 2013 and it was signed on September 26, 2014. This accord covers most aspects pertaining to bilateral economic relations, notably products and services, investments and government purchases.
Prior to full implementation, the text will have to be approved first of all by all the ten provincial Canadian legislatures as well as the twenty eight national European parliaments, which could take anywhere from 18 to 24 months. However, there is a clause which foresees that even in the case of rejection by one of these legislatures; the deal will apply temporarily during three years.  

For Jean Charest, the founder of this deal, this deal is the great gateway to the Americas, as well as a passage way for businesses that want to invest in Canada all while having access to Europe.


At the Canada –EU Summit on March 18, 2004, an agreement was accepted by leaders, the TIEA (Trade and Investment Enhancement Agreement). This agreement is intended to treat areas such as trade and investment facilitation, competition, mutual recognition of professional qualifications, financial services, e-commerce, temporary entry, small and medium-sized businesses, sustainable development, and sharing of science and technology. In addition to lowering barriers, the TIEA is meant to heighten Canadian and European interest in each other’s markets. The TIEA had continued right up until 2006, when Canada and the EU decided to momentarily put an end to negotiations. Negotiations started shortly after the publication in October 2008 following the joint study entitled Assessing the Costs and Benefits of a Closer EU-Canada Economic Partnership which was conjointly produced by the European Commission and the Government of Canada.
The launch of the negotiations was officially announced on May 6, 2009 at the Canada –EU Summit in Prague.

This agreement has moved beyond the TIEA (Trade and Investment Enhancement Agreement) toward one with a much broader and ambitious scope. At the request of the European Union; the ten Canadian provinces as well as the three federal territories of the country were invited to play an active role in negotiations. Right up until this day, never had a Canadian province nor a federal territory ever participated in negotiations relating to an international agreement.

On Friday, September 26, 2014 during the Summit in Ottawa the Canadian government, the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy accompanied by the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso officially unveiled the contents of CETA (Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) as well as the conclusion of negotiations. The agreement must be translated into 23 languages and it must be legally revised before being signed and then ratified.

Contents of the Agreement

CETA eliminates boarder tariffs for almost all products, once the agreement is enforced. The exception of duties on certain agricultural products: meats from poultry are excluded in both directions, and meat from cattle and pigs go in the direction of Canada –EU (progressive access quotas are introduced).
It includes a section on service trades, harmonization of current and future standards, public markets and legal protection of investments. Positive economic effects are expected for both partners.