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We applaud the government’s announcement that after four years of negotiation, the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic & Trade Agreement (CETA) has been signed. This is the most important trade deal signed by Canada. It surpasses NAFTA in scope.

International trade is a major engine for economic growth. And with the global economy continuing to struggle, such initiatives are more important than ever. The Prime Minister, Minister of Trade and the negotiating teams from both countries should be congratulated for their sustained efforts and resolve in the face of very challenging issues. Without their leadership, this agreement would not have been possible.

Without seeing the final text, we are not in a position to quantify the full benefits. But today’s announcement points to an ambitious, far-reaching agreement that will boost economic growth, create jobs and expand opportunities for Canadian businesses of all sizes. Bottom line, more trade tends to spread benefits throughout the economy over time.

We look forward to working with the government and our membership to make sure the opportunities opened up by this agreement are fully realized. We also hope the momentum generated by signing this deal will help push forward Canada’s other major trade talks, including with Japan, India, Korea and the Trans-Pacific Partnership countries.

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