Canada: Moving Towards EU-Canada Economic Agreement: Results Of Scoping Exercises And Commitment To Negotiate

Copyright 2009, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Originally published in Blakes Bulletin on International Trade & Investment, May 2009

On May 6, 2009, at the Canada-EU Summit in Prague, Czech Republic, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, along with European Union President Mirek Topolánek and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso announced the historic launch of negotiations towards an economic partnership agreement between Canada and the European Union. The negotiations will be guided by a joint "scoping exercise" that culminated in the Joint Report on the EU-Canada Scoping Exercise (Joint Report) which outlines those areas proposed by both parties as subjects for upcoming negotiations.

JOINT REPORT

The Joint Report notes that the "well-being and prosperity of the EU and Canada depend on healthy international trade and investment relationships", citing the fact that the EU is the world's largest exporter of goods and services, as well as the fact that one in five Canadian jobs is estimated to be linked to trade.

While both parties state their commitment to advancing the Doha round of multilateral negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO), they note a shared interest in strengthening their bilateral economic partnership. Currently, this bilateral relationship is governed by a co-operative framework established in 1976, and both parties are now seeking an ambitious, comprehensive and binding single economic agreement to replace the 1976 framework.

The Joint Report indicates that commitments under this new agreement should go beyond current WTO levels and should include, as a minimum, all the chapters of the most ambitious EU and Canadian bilateral economic agreements to date.

The Joint Report sets out 15 topics which the scoping exercises yielded as being the subjects for discussion in the upcoming negotiations:

  • Trade in Goods. The Joint Report indicates that the level of any tariff elimination should be considerably more comprehensive and ambitious than required by Article XXIV of the GATT, and that no tariff lines should be excluded a priori. The agreement should also include clear rules of origin that leave little room for administrative discretion, address agricultural export subsidies and state trading enterprises, examine the possibility of including provisions related to emergency action and trade remedies, and substantially reduce non-tariff barriers to trade.
  • Sanitary and Phytosanitary Issues. While building on the WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures is a priority of the parties, they further recommended the establishment of a mechanism to address specific issues not covered in the existing Canada-EU Veterinary agreement.
  • Technical Barriers to Trade. Provisions on this topic should "reaffirm, build on and enhance" existing WTO provisions, notably in the areas of transparency, international standards, technical regulations and conformity assessments. The development of a mechanism to deal with technical barriers to trade was also proposed.
  • Trade Facilitation. The objectives of trade facilitation negotiations will be efficiency, transparency, co-operation and consultation. The parties have expressed the view that the challenges faced by small and medium-sized enterprises should be taken into consideration in negotiations.
  • Customs Procedures. The goal of negotiations in respect of customs procedures will be to formulate rules of origin that are effective and transparent in their administration. The parties will also take into account the existing Agreement between Canada and the European Community on Customs Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters in an effort to avoid duplication.
  • Cross-Border Trade in Services. The parties are hoping to achieve substantial sectoral coverage in terms of liberalizing trade in services. Negotiations in this connection are expected to be considerably more ambitious than the current WTO commitments and involve issues of market access, non-discrimination and compliance with Article V of the GATS. The Joint Report also indicates that the agreement will contain provisions in respect of the mutual recognition of professional qualifications.
  • Investment. Canada and the EU have expressed a desire to increase bilateral investment flows between the two jurisdictions. The Joint Report notes that provisions in the agreement regarding investment should cover pre- and post-establishment in all sectors, and should include substantive and procedural obligations at central and sub-central government levels.
  • Government Procurement. As a starting point for negotiations, the parties will look to the procedural commitments contained in the November 2007 revised text of the Government Procurement Agreement. They intend to substantially improve access to public procurement markets in all sectors, ensuring treatment no less favourable than that given to local suppliers, and to increase transparency.
  • Regulatory Co-operation. The parties wish to avoid "unnecessarily divergent" regulatory approaches, and proposed regulatory co-operation in specific areas to complement the voluntary framework that is already in place.
  • Intellectual Property. The parties noted that any agreement should substantially improve on all categories of IP rights where needed beyond the minimal protection afforded under the relevant WTO agreement (TRIPS), and will also cover geographical indications.
  • Movement of Persons. The Joint Report notes that provisions on the legitimate temporary movement of persons related to bilateral trade and investment should be included as a topic in negotiations.
  • Competition Policy and Other Related Matters. The Joint Report notes that exploratory talks aimed at improving the exchange of information between competition authorities are already underway. The existing agreement between the parties on the application of their competition laws form the basis for co-operation, and any future agreement should include related disciplines (e.g., state aid).
  • Institutional Arrangements and Dispute Settlement. According to the parties, provisions on this topic should include a binding state-to-state dispute mechanism, as well as appropriate mediation mechanisms.
  • Sustainable Development. Provisions on environment, labour rights and corporate social responsibility standards were identified by the parties as being appropriate. The Joint Report also notes the desirability of early liberalization of environmental goods and services.
  • Other Areas. This residual category heading was formulated by the parties to provide for some flexibility in the scope of the agreement, permitting expansion where there is mutual interest in doing so.

While there appears to be a great deal of optimism surrounding the negotiations, one possible stumbling block may be the EU early insistence that all provinces and territories sign on. While the vast majority have publicly supported these negotiations, the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador has voiced concerns over the federal government's protection of Newfoundland's interests. The premier's concerns may be attributable to political tension between the premier and the Canadian prime minister or the EU movement towards imposing a regional ban on seal products and high tariffs on seafood.

IMPORTANCE OF THE AGREEMENT

The EU is Canada's second-largest export market and second-largest investor (surpassed only by the U.S.). Canada is the EU's fourth-largest source of foreign direct investment, and two-way trade in merchandise reached C$90.4-billion in 2008. A 2008 joint EU-Canada study estimates that this agreement could increase bilateral trade by more than 20% in the space of a few years. Thus, any agreement on these 15 issues is expected to have significant ramifications for both parties.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Events from this Firm
26 Oct 2018, Other, Vancouver, Canada

Cybersecurity, including data privacy and security obligations, has become a critical chapter in every company’s risk management playbook.

30 Oct 2018, Other, Toronto, Canada

Please join us for discussions on recent updates and legal developments in pension and employee benefits as well as employment law issues.

12 Nov 2018, Other, Toronto, Canada

Stories aren’t falsehoods. Stories are the root of all effective human communications: they motivate, animate and clarify. If you aren’t telling stories, you probably aren’t getting your point across.

 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions