German website leaks text of Canada-EU trade pact
Agreement cuts 98 per cent of the tariffs and gives Canada favoured access to EU's $17-trillion economy.0
TORONTO — A German television show has posted online a document it claims is the full text of the Canada-EU trade deal, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. The 521-page document dated Aug. 5 was posted online Wednesday by the show “Tagesschau.”
The Harper government said earlier this month that negotiators had concluded a text of the free-trade deal with the European Union. The final wording followed months of negotiation and disagreements over a wide range of issues that included investor protection from lawsuits as well as dairy quotas.
Trade Minister Ed Fast said last week that he was looking forward to a Canada-EU Summit in Ottawa next month, where the deal will be the centrepiece. Fast said the agreement will “create jobs and economic opportunities for hard-working Canadians in every region of the country.”
The Council of Canadians said in a release that it’s pleased that the text of the agreement has been made public.
“Throughout the process, this agreement and its devastating impacts have been kept locked away from legislators and the public, shielded from a democratic process,” said Maude Barlow, chairwoman of the Council of Canadians.
Federal officials have said it could take up to two years to run the text through the ratification process, translation and a fine tuning of the legal language. That means it might not be in force before the next federal election, expected October 2015.
The Harper government has made the deal with Europe a keystone of its economic agenda, giving Canada favoured access to Europe’s $17-trillion economy.
Once implemented, 98 per cent of the tariffs between the partners would drop to zero. In addition to tariff removal, there are chapters on professional accreditation that will make it easier for people to work in either zone, and more opportunities in financial services and telecommunications.
© 2014 The Canadian Press