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UK Pushes For Canada-EU FTA Conclusion

by Robert Lee,, London

31 March 2014

UK Trade Minister Lord Livingston has called for a speedy conclusion to a planned trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and Canada, which could benefit UK firms by up to GBP1.3bn (USD2.2bn) a year.

Speaking during a trade mission to Canada, Livingston said that the deal "has real potential to create growth and jobs in both countries." The UK is currently Canada's top trading partner within the EU, and its second largest trade and investment partner after the US. The UK exported GBP4.2bn worth of goods to Canada in 2012, and GBP3.9bn in services.

Last October, the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso announced that an agreement in principle had been reached on the core elements of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The Canadian Government anticipates a CAD12bn (USD10.9bn) boost to its economy.

Negotiations are ongoing to finalize the CETA's terms. The EU is expected to liberalize its tariff treatment of non-agricultural products, while certain sensitive food products will receive significantly increased quota amounts. The deal will also provide locked in access to EU procurement and services markets.

During his visit, Livingston will sign a joint statement of cooperation in trade and investment with British Columbia's International Trade Minister Teresa Wat. The UK and Canada will share information on strategies and programs to maximize trade and investment and grow business links, through trade missions, business networking events, and promoting joint ventures.

TAGS: tax | investment | business | free trade agreement (FTA) | tariffs | trade treaty | United Kingdom | food | agreements | Canada | trade | European Union (EU) | services | Europe

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