Insiders have reported that talks on the EU-Canada free trade agreement were finalized on 5 August. The talks started in 2009 and political agreement on key issues was reached in October 2013. Now the text of the deal should be ready for final legal review and translation into the 23 EU official languages. The agreement is to cut 98% of the existing tariffs and duties and is expected to boost EU-Canada trade and lead to increased economic growth and jobs creation. Moreover, it is seen by the experts as a test case for the TTIP, a huge economic deal that would create world´s largest free trade area. In the past weeks, reports were published that Germany threatens to stop the deal´s ratification if issues concerning investor-to-state dispute settlement were not resolved. Germany was said to fear a too strong mechanism for private investors, which could eventually, through third-party arbitration, lead to softening certain environmental and consumer protection rules in the EU. A Canadian source stated, however, that this issue existed, but had been solved a long time ago.
8th January 2020