Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

The Prosecutor Who Could Save Baltimore

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Central African Republic: French soldiers face sex abuse allegations

Read more

#THE 51%

UK elections: Does the women's vote count?

Read more

REVISITED

Questions remain 7 years after China's Sichuan quake

Read more

#TECH 24

Apple Watch put to the test

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Bread, a French tradition

Read more

FOCUS

Lebanon's Roumieh prison: Iron-fist policy against a jihadist hub

Read more

REPORTERS

Syria: On the trail of looted antiquities

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Are you ready to rumble? Mayweather-Pacquiao is biggest payday in sports history

Read more

Business

EU, Canada strike free-trade agreement

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-10-18

The European Union and Canada reached a free-trade agreement on Friday, after more than four years of negotiations. The deal could also serve as a basis for a much bigger agreement between the EU and the United States.

The European Union and Canada reached a multi-billion-dollar free-trade deal trade agreement on Friday, concluding more than four years of negotiations. The deal could also serve as a basis for a much larger agreement between the EU and the United States.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso announced the deal in Brussels, which had been stalled for months over quotas for Canadian beef and EU cheese.

“This agreement is a landmark achievement for the transatlantic market,” Barroso said. “With political will and a good dose of hard work, there is a way to reach a result that benefits people on both sides of the Atlantic,” he said.

It is the EU’s first major agreement with a member of the G8 group of the world’s main economies. Thus far, the European Union has only been able to strike smaller deals with countries like South Korea and Singapore.

Bigger than NAFTA

The accord is expected to increase bilateral trade in goods and services by a fifth to 25.7 billion euros ($35 billion) a year, according to the latest EU estimates.

“This is the biggest deal our country has ever made,” Harper said, adding that it was bigger than the North Atlantic Free-Trade Agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico.

The European Commission is negotiating trade pacts with more than 80 countries on behalf of the bloc’s 28 members following the collapse of the Doha global trade talks.

The fact that the Canada agreement took so long to conclude shows just how difficult it can be to reach an agreement on such deals.

European efforts to sign a free trade agreement with the United States faced a setback this month when a second round of negotiations was cancelled because of the US government shutdown.

The Canada agreement should provide a boost for EU trade chief Karel De Gucht, and could serve as a template for US talks as both deals seek to go far beyond tariff reduction and to reduce transatlantic barriers to business.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-10-18

  • DIPLOMACY - TRADE

    US chides China over Snowden extradition at trade talks

    Read more

  • US - EU

    US-EU free trade talks begin amid spying accusations

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    EU seeks dual talks on US surveillance, free trade deal

    Read more

COMMENT(S)