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:
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As International Trade Minister Ed Fast returns from negotiations in Europe that failed to secure a deal on the Canada – EU Trade Agreement, newly leaked documents to the CAQ and posted by LaPresse provide a detailed look at the remaining outstanding issues with details on the Canadian and European positions. The documents (1, 2, 3, 4) make it clear that the EU recognizes the deal is unbalanced as there are far more demands for Canadian changes than European ones. The EU retains the hope that Canada will cave on the EU demands since “the EU market to which it gains preferential access is much larger than its own.”
This ranks as perhaps the most important CETA leak to date, since it clearly identifies the key remaining issues, the European demands, and the massive changes that would be required for Canada to comply with the treaty. Some of the changes demanded by Europe include patent reform that could add billions to Canadian health care costs, the removal of foreign ownership restrictions on telecommunications and book publishing, the opening of public procurement for the energy and public transport sectors, eliminating Investment Canada Act review for European investments, new restrictions on the sale of a myriad of products such as feta and parmesan cheese, changes to agricultural protections (ie. supply management), and the adoption of European standards on passenger cars. This would require dramatic changes across the Canadian economy, all for what even the Europeans acknowledge are limited gains for Canada.
Given what is at stake, there needs to be an open debate and consultation before an agreement is reached (which is no longer a certainty) and Canada should be considering whether a scaled down version of CETA – one that focuses primarily on a reduction of tariffs for trade in goods – is a better model. A closer look at the some of the remaining issues is posted below.
Canada’s International Trade Minister Ed Fast traveled to Brussels this week hoping to secure a deal on the Canada – EU Trade Agreement. It looks like he’ll be coming home empty handed as the EU has issued a release indicating that there are still gaps on key issues. The EU’s […]
As Canada and the European Union continue their negotiations on a trade deal, a source has provided a copy of the EU proposal for the criminal intellectual property provisions. The IP criminal provisions was the one aspect left out of early drafts (the CETA leak from last year is available […]
Most scientific studies â€œfail to find evidence of a strong positive response by domestic innovators that could be reasonably ascribed to the effect of stronger IPR.â€ To clarify, it is undisputable that R&D spending is associated with higher GDP growth and, given current business models, a certain level of IPR protection is essential for investment in innovation and creativity. Incremental IPR reforms in OECD countries, however, do not seem to increase domestic spending in R&D. Some stakeholders interviewed for this study and several academics consider that excessive IPR could actually harm economic growth, even in OECD countries, if their holders can block followâ€on research.
As for the costs of the CETA IP provisions, the report notes that more dollars will flow to Europe, but Canadian IP holders would not see increased revenue flow back. In fact, it is Canadian consumers that will pay the price with “inflationary pressure” on consumer prices: