31 October, 2016 (Waterloo, ON) - After seven years of intense negotiations, last-minute stonewalling by the Walloons and a cancelled EU-Canada Summit, the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) was finally signed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels. CETA’s signature means the agreement can now take effect provisionally while it works its way through the European Union’s complex ratification process. 

Although provisional implementation will result in near-term tariff reductions on a variety of goods traded between Canada and the EU, significant work still remains to ensure that CETA fully achieves its goal of liberalized trade between the two parties. In Making the Most of CETA: A Complete and Effective Implementation is Key to Realizing the Agreement’s Full Potential, a new paper released today by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Senior Fellow Patrick Leblond argues there are still several obstacles to CETA’s implementation, namely those related to shared standards, procedures, rules and regulations. 

“Successful implementation of the agreement will require a high degree of coordination between not only Canada and the European Union, but also various levels of government in each jurisdiction and transatlantic business communities,” explains Leblond. “Canada and the EU must work together to develop institutions and procedures that will allow Canadian firms to export products, services and people to the European Union (and vice versa) without having to undertake lengthy and costly steps that would create significant obstacles to CETA’s goal of liberalizing trade and investment between the two parties.” 

Making the Most of CETA asserts that if implementation issues are not dealt with the full economic benefits of CETA will not be realized, which would only reinforce existing skepticism in the global community towards free trade. Amidst protectionist headlines that occupy much of the global economic conversation, successful implementation of this agreement is more important than ever.

Making the Most of CETA is available on the CIGI website

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