Ottawa, February 29, 2016—The Canadian Chamber of Commerce congratulates the government for reaching an important milestone towards ratification of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union. International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland announced today that the complex process of drafting the legal text was complete.
“The CETA agreement will be a critical achievement when it’s ratified, giving Canada excellent access to a massive market of over 500 million people,” said the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “Completing the legal agreement is a major step towards closing the deal.”
Today’s announcement also signifies an agreement has been reached on the important issue of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). The new form of ISDS will ensure governments do not discriminate against foreign investors, while maintaining the independence to adopt new laws and regulations in areas like the environment, labour rules and health standards.
“CETA is both ambitious and broad. There’s always the danger that the parties will come away from negotiations with differing interpretations. Completing the legal text means all the nations in the agreement have a common understanding and a common goal: to complete this historic market opening,” said Mr. Beatty. “We now have an agreed text. We call upon all parties to ratify it without further delay.”
With the completion of the text, the process of ratification can begin, both in Canada and in the European Parliament. The agreement is expected to come into force next year.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between business and the federal government. It helps shape public policy and decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada with a network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 200,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all regions. Follow us on Twitter @CdnChamberofCom.
G. Will Dubreuil
Director, Public Affairs and Media Relations
Canadian Chamber of Commerce