The Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance believes the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the EU will mean growth for Canada’s food industry
The Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA), a coalition of national and regional organizations that support a more open and fair international trading environment for agriculture and agri-food, is applauding Canada’s decision to sign the historic Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union.
In an official ceremony, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed the CETA deal on Oct. 30 after seven years of negotiations, along with President of the European Council Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.
The official signing means the complete text may begin the ratification process through the Canadian Parliament and the legislatures of the 28 member countries of the EU, and cannot be amended.
“Seeing Canada’s largest trade agreement since NAFTA get signed is a bright light for agri-food exporters,” says Brian Innes, CAFTA president. “Better access to the EU will help us grow our exports, driving growth here in Canada.”
According to a CAFTA press release, eliminating trade barriers through the CETA should allow Canada to capture more value from agri-food exports to the EU. Canada exported C$2.6 billion in agriculture and food products to the EU in 2014. When CETA is fully implemented, it is expected to eliminate EU tariffs on almost 94 per cent of Canada’s agri-food products. The agreement could drive additional exports of up to C$1.5 billion, including $600 million in beef, $400 million in pork, $100 million in grains and oilseeds, $100 million in sugar containing products and a further $300 million in processed foods, fruits and vegetables.
“We believe free trade deals like CETA are required for Canada’s export oriented agri-food sector to thrive,” says Innes. “CETA provides the framework to access one of the world’s few multibillion-dollar export markets, and importantly, it does so ahead of our major competitors.”
For more insight on CETA’s potential impact on the Canadian food industry, see our feature article “Destination Europe” from the May 2016 issue of Food in Canada magazine.