The Trade Agreement That Cried Wolf: The Canada - EU Trade Agreement Timeline
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Monday June 17, 2013
The Canada - EU Trade Agreement was in the news last week with multiple
reports on the likelihood of talks concluding within the next few days.
Some reports said a deal was possible, British Prime Minister David Cameron said a deal is close, but by the end of the week Prime Minister Harper was saying that there was no deadline to conclude negotiations. While there is another report
a deal may come today or tomorrow, if the past few years are any
indication, we can expect continued speculation without a deal for many
more months to come. A timeline of the talks for the past three years:
Will Canada and the EU ultimately strike a deal? Maybe today or
tomorrow. But back in March I came
around to Paul Wells' opinion
that a deal may not happen. A compromise is still possible, but both
sides still have reasons to hold back. Canada's participation in the
Trans Pacific Partnership may make it reluctant to cave on issues
that would be useful bargaining chips in those talks, while Europe's
talks with the U.S. mean that anything Canada gets, the U.S. gets
more so conceding on key issues to Canada comes at a bigger cost
later. Given the limited importance of the deal - the Canadian
market is just too small to make a major difference for Europe and a
Commission commissioned study of the agreement concluded that
there were many areas that offer only limited Canadian gains - it
may remain in limbo for some time.
2010 - Trade Minister Peter Van Loan says that
negotiations could be concluded by the end of 2011
2011 - Van Loan says negotiations could be completed by
the end of 2011
2011 - Disagreement on public services. Sources say no
agreement in 2011.
2011 - Trade Minister Ed Fast says negotiations are in the
home stretch with only four or five major issues left
2011 - Fast says negotiations are "well advanced"
2011 - reports indicate negotiations will wrap up in early
2011 - Prime Minister Harper says "all the signs are that
we’re going to be able to conclude next year."
2012 - European officials say relatively few issues left
and expect a deal by the summer
2012 - Fast says "we are on track to conclude negotiations
2012 - Media reports say agreement being held up by
disagreement over rules of origin
2012 - Danish Trade Minister says CETA is 75 percent
2012 - European officials say talks expected to end this
year despite delays
2012 - Lead Canadian CETA negotiation lawyer quits
2012 - Fast says still aiming to conclude agreement in
2012 - Harper and German Chancellor Angela Merkel meet to
discuss CETA. Intellectual property, public procurement, and
services cited as key stumbling blocks
2012 - Fast says agreement is possible this year. By the
end of the month, says
year-end is a goal, not a target.
2012 - EU Trade Commission Karel de Gucht says a number of
big issues still remain. Points to intellectual property,
government procurement, foreign investment, agriculture, and
2012 - Media reports say Canada willing to cave on
intellectual property to clinch a deal.
2012 - Canada - EU make final push in negotiations
2012 - Reports say negotiations in the home stretch, deal
possible by January
2013 - German Ambassador to Canada says deal is possible
2013 - de Gucht comes to Ottawa but officials dismiss
hopes of finalizing deal. Media reports
that framework deal is on "Harper's desk"
2013 - Canada said ready to compromise on dairy
restrictions, but divide remains on beef exports, intellectual
property, and auto shipments. EU report also says
disagreements remain on public procurement and pork
exports. By the end of the month, de Gucht says
Canada must improve its offer.
2013 - Trade Minister Ed Fast says momentum building for a
CETA agreement, claiming the talks are "into the end game where
there is only a small number of issues left to be addressed".
say financial services still in dispute. EU officials urge
Canada to conclude agreement by the summer.
2013 - Minister of State for Finance Ted Menzies delivers
a talk supporting CETA but says there is no deadline for
completion of the agreement. Dutch minister says
deal pushed back to the summer. By the end of the month,
agreement could be announced in a few weeks.
2013 - Reports say Canada close to finalizing agreement.
say Harper wants deal by June 21st. Yet further reports say
agriculture the sole remaining issue (Canada-EU trade deal
nears; agriculture is final sticking point), though others say
human rights is a concern. By the end of the month, Canada is said
to be seeking "an agreement in principle."
2013 - Canada said to be linking all issues: agriculture
and market access, cars, rules of origin, government
procurement, and investment protection.
4, 2013 - Canada expected to announce trade agreement next
7, 2013 - Canada does not expect to sign agreement during
Harper visit in Europe.
Monday June 17, 2013