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Ottawa, Oct. 24, 2016—At a time of slow economic growth, it is urgent for European leaders to resolve their internal disagreements over ratifying the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement between Canada and Europe, says the Canadian of Chamber of Commerce.  

“CETA took seven years to negotiate, with input from thousands of stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic. A final agreement was reached in February and it was posted on the internet in all of the languages of the European Union on July 5, providing ample time for discussion and clarification,” said the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “The European and Canadian business communities strongly support this fair and balanced agreement. Canadian and European negotiators worked hard to achieve the most modern trade agreement in the world, and now the EU must resolve its internal differences to see this ratified,” he continued.

CETA would eliminate or reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers, making Canadian goods, technologies and services more competitive in the lucrative EU market. The benefits of the agreement could reach businesses of all sizes in many different sectors, extending to workers and their families, and to consumers. Overall, the agreement could inject over $12 billion of new revenue into the Canadian economy, boosting bilateral trade by 20% according to a joint Canada-EU study. Europeans businesses would enjoy similar benefits in Canada.

“It’s important for the European Union to demonstrate that it remains an effective and reliable trade partner despite the Brexit vote earlier this year,” said Mr. Beatty. “Surrendering to protectionism would only harm EU competitiveness and prosperity, including in regions like Wallonia.”

“Like our European counterparts, the Canadian business community remains steadfast in its support for CETA. We urge European political leaders to dismantle the barriers to increased growth and prosperity or all of our citizens,” concluded Mr. Beatty.

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

G. Will Dubreuil Director, Public Affairs and Media Relations

Canadian Chamber of Commerce