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We welcome news that Canada and the European Union have now completed the final text of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). This latest milestone follows an agreement-in-principle announced in October last year.

Today is an important step on the path towards free trade with Europe. By reducing trade barriers with the world’s largest economy, CETA will bring more opportunities for exporters, lower prices for consumers and new investments to Canada.

The agreement will eliminate the vast majority of tariffs, expand quotas, open up markets for services and government procurement, improve trade facilitation and customs services, encourage regulatory cooperation and protect investments and intellectual property.

Political leaders and negotiating teams from both countries should be congratulated for their sustained efforts and resolve in the face of very challenging issues and timelines. But, there’s still a lot of work ahead to put CETA into effect.

In Canada, both the federal and provincial governments will need to amend or pass new legislation to implement the provisions of the agreement. In Europe, approval is required from the EU Council and European Parliament.

To get through the next phase, policymakers will need to continue to exert the leadership that got us to where we are today. We look forward to working with them and our membership to make sure the opportunities opened up by this agreement are fully realized.

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