EU and Canada Sign Free Trade Agreement

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The European Union and Canada signed a free trade agreement that aims to generate jobs and growth.

According to the deal, EU member states and Canada will exempt each other from customs duties on almost 99 percent of goods, including food and automobiles.

The two sides will expand trade volumes in many fields in the future, including industrial and agricultural products, which are of huge importance to strengthen their trade cooperation.

It will remove customs duties, end restrictions on access to public contracts, open-up the services market, offer better conditions for investors and help prevent illegal copying of EU innovations and traditional products.

The agreement upholds Europe’s standards in areas such as food safety and worker’s rights. It contains all the guarantees to make sure that the economic gains do not come at the expense of democracy, the environment or consumers’ health and safety.

The European Parliament will need to give its consent to the agreement before it can be provisionally applied. Provisional application allows European businesses and consumers to reap the benefits of the agreement early on.

But the deal has to clear some 40 national and regional parliaments in Europe in the coming years to enter fully into force.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed the treaty along with the heads of EU institutions, a step that should enable a provisional implementation of the pact early in 2017 with the removal of most import duties.

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