A strong supporter of free trade, Canada has always been a natural ally for the EU. In 2018, Canada was the EU’s 10th most important trading partner, accounting for 2% of the total external trade with the EU. In turn, as Canada’s second most important trading partner, the EU accounted for 10% of Canada’s total external trade and the total value of the two-way trade between the EU and Canada was €72.3 billion for goods (2018) and €34.9 billion for services (2017). For more information on EU-Canada trade, please click here.
EU-Canada trade and economic activity is further boosted by the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). CETA is not just one of the most ambitious trade agreements the EU has ever concluded, but also the most progressive. CETA goes beyond just removing customs duties and contains ambitious chapters on sustainable development, labour and the environment. It offers significant benefits for the economies, businesses and consumers in both Canada and the EU.
CETA has been applied provisionally since 21 September 2017. Provisional application allows for a meaningful application of the substance of the agreement right from the start. Some areas, such as the provisions related to investment protection and the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism (Chapter VIII) have yet to be approved by all the national parliaments of the EU Member States before full entry into force. National ratifications have been completed already in Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Croatia, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Romania, and are well underway in a number of other EU Member States.
Companies are taking advantage of the new and easier trading opportunities. In 2019, the overall EU exports to Canada (goods and services) totalled €58.9 billion and its overall imports reached €33.3 billion. This represents, respectively, an increase of 27.2% and 46.8% as compared to the situation before CETA entered into force.
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