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Canada-EU negotiations reach critical milestone

Published by CME Webmaster on October 24, 2011

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is pleased to note that negotiations towards a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union reached a critical milestone last week with Canadian and EU officials now having officially exchanged offers in all the policy areas covered by the discussions.

Canada and the EU concluded their ninth round of negotiations Friday in Ottawa. The trade discussions will now move into a new, high-stakes, final phase focused on resolving contentious issues.

"With negotiations entering their most critical stage, Canada's negotiators must focus on delivering an outcome that provides a demonstrable net economic benefit for manufacturers in Canada," says CME President & CEO Jayson Myers. "Given that manufacturing accounts for two-thirds of Canada's merchandise exports, manufacturers have the most at stake in these negotiations. The next stage of negotiations will be critical to ensure the agreement leads to a net increase in manufactured exports from Canada, as well and higher levels of production and investment."

CME will be following closely several areas of the negotiations in the coming weeks and months including negotiations on tariffs, technical barriers to trade, procurement, rules of origin, trade remedies, intellectual property and the movement of business people.

"The conclusion of the CETA has the potential to help Canadian manufacturers and exporters diversify their sales into new export markets, increase their presence in Europe at a time when they are looking for new market opportunities, and position Canada as a more attractive destination for manufacturing investment," adds Myers. "For the agreement's touted economic benefits to materialize, it is critical that it take into account the strategic interests of Canada's most important trade and industrial sectors."

Earlier this week, CME appeared before the House of Commons' Standing Committee on International Trade as part of their consultations on the CETA negotiations. In its testimony, CME expressed its support for the negotiations and stated the conditions needed for the agreement to benefit Canadian manufacturers and exporters.

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