The Québec government supports the agreement in principle on the major issues of the negotiation of the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union, which has been reached after several months of intense negotiations.
This was announced by Pauline Marois, Premier of Québec, and Nicolas Marceau, Minister of Finance and the Economy.
“We are proud that we have taken this crucial step in the negotiations leading to the most far-reaching free trade agreement since NAFTA in 1994. Because of its limited domestic market, Québec must be more open to the world. With 500 million consumers, the European Union is the planet’s leading economic power,” said the Premier.
“The Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union is intended to diversify and consolidate access to an essential market for Québec businesses. Under CETA, all custom tariffs of the European Union and Canada on industrial products will be eliminated, including 98% of the tariff lines as soon as CETA takes effect,” added Minister Marceau.
Québec will be able to reap significant gains in the aluminium, recreational vehicles, petrochemical and chemical products, sawn timber, mobile homes, auto parts, telecommunications equipment and advanced optics equipment sectors, as well as for many processed food products.
Québec has also obtained assurance that services related to education, health and social services, services provided in the exercise of government authority and supply management would be excluded from the scope of CETA.
As for cultural industries, the negotiations were able to put forward an approach based on exceptions by chapter, with a reference to the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.