Montreal, September 21 – The Canadian Minister of International Trade, Hon. François-Philippe Champagne celebrated with the Ambassadors of the EU countries the provisional application of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which allows the provisions included in the agreement to be applied pending its entry into force with ratification by all EU member states. The ceremony took place at the Port of Montreal, through which 80% of the trade in goods between Canada and the European Union passes.
Minister Champagne, who was accompanied by the Minister of International Relations of Quebec, Hon. Christine Saint-Pierre, highlighted that the provisional application of the agreement translates into customs duties exemptions for 98% of the approximately 9000 tariff lines between Canada and the EU. The Minister recalled that the EU is Canada’s second commercial partner, after the United States, and underlined the benefits of CETA for Canadian companies, and in particular for SMEs, which will benefit from easier access to the European Common Market, while European companies will enjoy similar advantages in Canada. Minister Champagne underlined that September 21st, 2017 marks a “historic day” for Canada and the European Union and noted that CETA represents a new generation agreement that establishes a new standard for international trade by adopting measures to ensure complementarity between economic growth, social development and environmental protection.
CETA will save € 590 million a year for European companies by eliminating customs duties on exports to Canada. SMEs will benefit in particular, as it will save time and resources by avoiding red tape, but also benefit consumers, who will have a greater choice, in strict compliance with European safety and regulatory standards. Ambassador Taffuri pointed out that CETA should also be valued from the perspective of the benefits to industry and services, and stressed that, also with regards to the traditionally sensitive agricultural sector, CETA offers innovative tools, ensuring the protection of 143 European geographical indications out of which 39 are Italian.