The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and Canada, which entered into force provisionally on September 21, 2017. The agreement was signed in October 2016 after a five-year negotiation period.
CETA aims to eliminate tariffs on a wide range of goods and services traded between Canada and the EU. The agreement also includes provisions on investment protection, government procurement, and intellectual property rights.
One of the key benefits of CETA is the potential increase in trade between Canada and the EU. The agreement is expected to create new business opportunities and provide more choices and lower prices for consumers. According to the European Commission, CETA could increase EU exports to Canada by €8 billion annually.
CETA also aims to promote sustainable development by including chapters on labor rights, environmental protection, and consumer safety. The agreement ensures that both Canada and the EU maintain high standards in these areas.
However, CETA has faced criticism from some groups who fear that it will lead to a race to the bottom in terms of standards and regulations. Some activists argue that CETA could harm small businesses and farmers who may not be able to compete with larger multinational corporations.
Another concern is the inclusion of an investment protection chapter, which allows investors to sue governments for policies that they believe harm their investments. Critics argue that this undermines democracy and could lead to a loss of sovereignty.
Despite these concerns, CETA has been praised by many, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and EU officials. The agreement is seen as a positive step towards closer economic ties between Canada and the EU.
Overall, CETA is a complex and important trade agreement that aims to increase trade and promote sustainable development between Canada and the EU. As the agreement continues to be implemented, it will be important to monitor its impact and ensure that it benefits all parties involved.