Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade, and Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade, today released the following statement:
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), between the European Union and Canada, is a progressive agreement that will set a new standard for international trade. It includes ambitious commitments that will benefit our societies and economies and reflects the shared values of Canada and the EU.
Once implemented, CETA will serve as the basis of an on-going effort amongst like-minded partners to advance a progressive trade policy approach to ensure the benefits of trade accrue to a broader segment of society. CETA itself is designed in a way that allows the Parties to continually improve and update the agreement to strengthen its provisions and reflect new innovations.
We look forward to meeting this week in Bratislava, Slovakia with colleagues from all the 28 EU Member States to discuss CETA’s benefits. We understand that some concerns remain that need to be clarified. Where formal clarifications are needed to allay concerns we are committed to providing these, including confirming our shared views on the delivery of public services, labour rights and environmental protection. We also have a strong, shared commitment to monitor carefully the improved investment dispute settlement mechanism included in CETA to ensure it operates in a truly independent manner.
CETA is the most forward-looking free trade agreement that Canada or the EU have ever negotiated and deserves to be assessed on its own merits. We are convinced that such an assessment reveals that this agreement will very much benefit both Canada and the EU. Signing the agreement this fall and implementing it in early 2017 remains our collective goal.
As we have said before, we believe the right choice is for partnership and prosperity, not division and isolation, now more than ever. Now is the time to build bridges, not walls.