Background Papers on Canada-EU Trade Negotiations

The Parliamentary Information and Research Service of the Library of Parliament has released a series of brief background papers on the Canada–European Union trade negotiations that began last year and that are aimed at achieving a “Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement” (CETA). There are ten papers in the series, as follows:

  1. Overview of Negotiations [pdf 175kb]
  2. Market Access in Agriculture [pdf 170kb]
  3. Non-Agricultural Market Access [pdf 163kb]
  4. Trade in Services [pdf 164kb]
  5. Investment Protection [pdf 166kb]
  6. Government Procurement [pdf 157kb]
  7. Technical Barriers to Trade and Regulatory Cooperation [pdf 157kb]
  8. Intellectual Property Protection [pdf 163kb]
  9. Labour Mobility [pdf 163kb]
  10. Dispute Settlement [pdf 156kb]

(The titles are linked to the HTML version; and the links to the PDF versions are apparent.)

Here’s a sprinkling of some points of difficulty likely to get attention as negotiations continue:

Canadian trade negotiators have indicated that differences between the Canadian trademark system and the EU’s GI [geographical indication] system of intellectual property protection for food products will be one of the more complex issues in CETA negotiations…

Negotiations about rules of origin are likely to be problematic for negotiators. Whether it is a genuine concern or a strategic negotiation approach, the EU has expressed concerns that the United States might use the CETA as an indirect way of entering the European market tariff-free…

Indirect expropriation is one of the most controversial elements of trade agreements that cover investment. Indirect expropriation is defined as “a measure or series of measures … that have an effect equivalent to direct expropriation without formal transfer of title or outright seizure.” This definition has been interpreted by some to mean that foreign companies can sue governments that implement policies or legislation that limit corporate profits…

Canada has never signed a trade agreement with enforceable environmental-protection provisions, and only its recent agreements with Colombia, Peru and Panama have enforceable labour-cooperation provisions. Whether Canada and the EU will include enforceable environmental and labour provisions, and a consequent dispute-settlement process, in the CETA is unclear.

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