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Canada, Israel Hold Latest Round Of Trade Talks

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

10 December 2014

Canada and Israel are holding a third round of talks to expand and modernize their free trade agreement (CIFTA).

The negotiations are taking place in Jerusalem and are intended to deepen trade and investment links between the two countries.

When plans for freer trade between Canada and Israel were announced at the start of this year, the Canadian Government said that it would press for reforms to the current access for goods, rules of origin, institutional and dispute settlement provisions, along with improved chapters on trade facilitation, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, intellectual property, e-commerce, environment, and labor. Negotiators were also expected to seek reduced technical barriers, enhanced cooperation, increased transparency in regulatory matters, and lower transaction costs for businesses, throughout the process.

Bilateral trade has more than doubled since the CIFTA entered into force in 1997, hitting CAD1.41bn (USD1.23bn) last year. Upon entry into force, the agreement eliminated tariffs on all industrial products manufactured in Canada and Israel. Additional tariff concessions on agricultural and fish and seafood products were introduced to the treaty in November 2003.

Canada's International Trade Minister, Ed Fast, said: "Israel is a priority market for Canada and holds great potential for Canadian companies in a variety of sectors. A deeper and broader free trade agreement will lead to a strengthened bilateral relationship and an increase in jobs and opportunities for Canadians and Israelis alike."

TAGS: environment | tax | investment | business | free trade agreement (FTA) | commerce | intellectual property | tariffs | trade treaty | Israel | food | agreements | e-commerce | tax rates | Canada | trade

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