After many months of patience and impatience, stagnation and
revival, the President of the European Commission, Mr. José
Manuel Barroso, and the Prime Minister of Canada, The Right
Honourable Stephen Harper, have reached a political agreement,
which is an understanding-in-principle of the key elements of the
Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (the
This agreement will allow Canadian businesses better access to
the most integrated market in the world, and as such will give them
a substantial advantage compared to commercial partners from States
(or groups of States) that have not (yet) concluded such agreement
with the European Union. In addition, exports from Canadian
businesses are currently focused on the American market, creating a
dependency. Thus, the larger window to an important market with an
equally important number of potential consumers will create an
opportunity for Canada to diversify commercial relations.
There has been a deadlock on the abolition of tariff customs
barriers in the multilateral negotiations of the Doha Round
conducted by the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Many nations have therefore continued to negotiate
commercial liberalization with their main partners to
generate the expected results in growth and employment without
having to wait for the hypothetical completion of the multilateral
negotiations held at the WTO.
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While that agreement mandated export measures on Canadian softwood lumber exports destined for the United States, it also protected those lumber exports from the potential imposition of onerous import measures by the U.S.
On September 29, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its first tariff classification decision since Canada signed the International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System in 1998.
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