Business & Policy
Agriculture and agri-food exporters welcome CETA
By Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance
The Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA) is applauding the Government of Canada for signing the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union.
In an official ceremony on Oct. 30, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President of the European Council Donald Tusk, President of the European Comission Jean-Claude Juncker and Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico (for Slovakia’s presidency of the Council of the EU) signed the CETA deal, after seven years of negotiations.
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 European Union (EU) and cannot be amended.
“Seeing Canada’s largest trade agreement since NAFTA get signed is a bright light for agri-food exporters,” said Brian Innes, president of CAFTA. “Better access to the EU will help us grow our exports, driving growth here in Canada.”
CAFTA believes eliminating barriers to trade through the CETA will allow Canada to capture more value from agri-food exports to the EU. Canada exported $2.6 billion in agriculture and food products to the EU in 2014. When the CETA is fully implemented, it will eliminate EU tariffs on almost 94 per cent of Canada’s agri-food products. The agreement could drive additional exports of up to $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.
Over the last 10 years in Canada, agriculture and agri-food exports have grown by 103 per cent, from $30 billion to over $61 billion, boosting farm cash receipts by 61 per cent over the same 2005 to 2015 period.
One remaining concern CAFTA cited is the slow progress the EU is making to resolve technical issues that will allow agri-food exporters to have commercially viable access to the EU.
Canada’s export oriented agri-food sector includes 90 per cent of farmers who depend on world markets, as well as food processors and more than 300,000 Canadian jobs directly and indirectly supported by agri-food exports.