ALDE Successes: Free trade with Canada

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After seven years of intensive negotiations, Members of the European Parliament approved last year the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the European Union and Canada (CETA).

CETA removes tariffs on most traded goods and services. It also provides for the mutual recognition of certification for a wide range of products. Canada is to open up its federal and municipal public procurement markets, which are already open in Europe. EU suppliers of services ranging from sea shipping through telecoms and engineering to environmental services and accountancy will get access to the Canadian market.

Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the ALDE group, said:

By backing the free trade agreement with Canada, we showed that the European Union is a credible and reliable trading partner. President Trump has given us another good reason to intensify our links with Canada — while Trump introduces tariffs, we are not only tearing them down but also setting the highest progressive standards.”

Marietje Schaake, ALDE spokesperson on Trade, added:

Canada is the most European country outside of Europe, especially under the liberal government of Prime Minister Trudeau. After several years of intensive negotiations, the European Parliament finally approved a progressive agreement, which fulfills our high European standards with regards to consumer protection, to the environment and to healthcare.”

“National governments have already approved the agreement. It is now their job to defend the agreement in front of their own parliaments. I expect ministers to do so and to make sure they fully inform parliamentarians and citizens about the benefits of CETA.

Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström is currently negotiating a free trade agreement with the Mercosur-countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay) and a modernisation of the current agreement with Mexico — another big step for the EU towards becoming a standard setter in global trade.

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