Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

TALKING EUROPE

Monica Macovei, Former Romanian justice minister

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Inconsistency was the only constant with evidence in Michael Brown's case'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Nigeria: Two female bombers kill at least 30 in Maiduguri

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Sarkozy: 'My first challenge will be to bring my political family back together'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Tunisia’s Essebsi says ready to form pluralist govt

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users react to Ferguson grand jury decision

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Tunisia’s Essebsi ‘personifies old regime’, says rival Marzouki

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

#Ferguson

Read more

DEBATE

After Ferguson: What's broken in America?

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)