The International Trade Council (ITC) applauds the decision of the German parliament to approve the free-trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and Canada, taking an important step towards the full implementation of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
The CETA, signed in 2016, has been provisionally applied since 2017, with most of its terms already in effect. However, the ratification by the parliaments of the EU's 27 member nations is essential for the agreement to be fully operational.
The overwhelming approval of the pact by German lawmakers, with a vote of 559-110, demonstrates the commitment to fostering open and prosperous trade relations between the EU and Canada.
While Germany's highest court rejected complaints against CETA earlier this year, the recent parliamentary endorsement has removed any remaining barriers to its ratification. The ITC commends the diligent efforts of Chancellor Olaf Scholz's three-party coalition in advancing the approval process.
Verena Hubertz, a lawmaker with the center-left Social Democrats, expressed optimism that other EU countries would swiftly follow Germany's lead in ratifying the agreement. However, she highlighted the need for expeditious action, emphasizing the importance of keeping pace with the rapidly evolving globalized world.
The CETA is designed to eliminate customs duties, expand market access, and enhance trade between Canada and the EU. By creating a favorable business environment, the agreement is expected to generate significant economic benefits for both parties, with projected savings of 600 million euros ($623 million) annually for EU companies.
The ITC recognizes the CETA as a testament to the value of international trade cooperation and believes that its full implementation will promote economic growth, create new opportunities for businesses, and enhance the well-being of citizens in both the EU and Canada.
As the international trade landscape evolves, the ITC remains committed to supporting and facilitating fair, transparent, and mutually beneficial trade agreements that contribute to global economic prosperity.