Wednesday 6 August 2014 9:23 pm

EU-Canada trade deal could pave way for US partnership

Canada and the EU yesterday finalised a free trade agreement that could be a blueprint for a similar deal between the 28-member bloc and the US. The deal – the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) – is expected to increase bilateral trade in goods and services by 22.9 per cent or €25.7bn (£, fostering growth and employment on both sides of the Atlantic. The agreement could lead to GDP gains for the EU of up to €11.6bn per year. Agreed in principle last October, the deal had since suffered from continuing disagreement in several areas, including financial services, but is set to remove 98 per cent of existing tariffs. The deal restores the free trade relationship that existed between the UK and Canada prior to Britain’s entry into the Common Market in 1973. While smaller in monetary terms, the Canada-EU deal covers more areas than the protracted negotiations over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the US and EU. The US-EU deal, if successful, would be the biggest free trade agreement to date, covering one third of world trade and almost half the global economy.