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Canada-EU trade deal‘will benefit EU firms and citizens’

PUBLISHED: 14:51 22 September 2017 | UPDATED: 14:51 22 September 2017

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker rings a bell to signal the beginning of a meeting at EU headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.  Picture: AP/VIRGINIA MAYO

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker rings a bell to signal the beginning of a meeting at EU headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. Picture: AP/VIRGINIA MAYO

The European Union and Canada have entered into a provisional trade deal.

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which came into force on Thursday, September 21, was welcomed by European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, who described it as “an instrument for growth that benefits European companies and citizens”.

The EU said the deal, which will now go through a member state ratification process, offered opportunities for EU businesses of all sizes to export to Canada, and would save them 590m euros (£521m) a year – the amount they pay in tariffs on goods exported to Canada.

The agreement was also a tool to project EU values, harness globalisation and shape global trade rules, said Mr Juncker.

“This trade deal has been subject to an in-depth parliamentary scrutiny which reflects the increased interest of citizens in trade policy,” he said.

“The intense exchanges on CETA throughout this process are testimony to the democratic nature of European decision making and I expect Member States to conduct an inclusive and thorough discussion in the context of the ongoing national ratification processes of the agreement. Now it’s time for our companies and citizens to make the most out of this opportunity and for everyone to see how our trade policy can produce tangible benefits for everyone”.

Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said things would now change for the better for EU exporters.

“The provisional entry into force allows EU companies and citizens to start reaping the benefits of this agreement right away,” she said.

It was “modern and progressive” and “a positive signal” for the global economy, with the potential to boost economic growth and create jobs, she said.

“It helps us shape globalisation and the rules that govern global commerce.

“Moreover, CETA underlines our strong commitment to sustainable development and protects the ability of our governments to regulate in the public interest. This agreement also vastly strengthens our relationship with Canada, a strategic partner and ally with whom we have deep historical and cultural ties.”

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