There has been a lot of talk in the news recently about Canada’s upcoming Free Trade Agreements (FTA’s) with various countries (i.e. EU, Korea, Japan), but what stage are these agreements really at? And when can you expect that they will come into force?
Some would assume that because of the August 5th, 2014 announcement that the negotiations have been completed on the Canada – European Union Trade Agreement (CETA), full implementation of the agreement is not far behind. Unfortunately this is not the case, and much work lies ahead before CETA will come into force and the benefits of the trade agreement can be realized. Estimates are that it will be, at minimum, another year before CETA is ready for signature.
To give you an overall picture of Canada’s Free Trade Agreements (present and potential), below you will find a ‘snapshot’ of what is in the works. The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade Development Canada categorizes the FTA’s in 5 ways:
- FTA’s In Force
- FTA’s Signed
- FTA’s Concluded
- Ongoing FTA Negotiations
- Exploratory Discussions
|FTA’s In Force||FTA’s Signed||FTA’s Concluded||Ongoing FTA Negotiations||Exploratory Discussions|
|Jordan||European Union (28 countries)||Central America Four||Thailand|
|European Free Trade Association* (EFTA)||Israel (modernization of existing FTA)|
|Costa Rica (modernization of existing FTA)|
*EFTA consists of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway & Switzerland
*MERCOSUR is a customs union established by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay & Uruguay
What is a Free Trade Agreement, and what are the benefits?
An FTA enables companies to compete on a more even playing field with similar firms in the FTA partner country. Under an FTA, a range of Canadian goods and services benefit from the reduction or elimination of tariff (duty) and non-tariff barriers (quotas or technical barriers). It is important to note that each FTA covers different industry sectors and contains different provisions, depending on the FTA partner. For example, a country with a dairy industry would ensure that an FTA that they enter into would both enhance and protect the dairy industry.
How can Cole help manage NAFTA and other FTA’s for Clients?
Cole International’s Consulting Department offers a wide array of services related to NAFTA and other FTA’s that include:
- Procurement and maintenance of FTA Certificates of Origin
- NAFTA and FTA Verifications (i.e. do your goods qualify?)
- Refund requests to take advantage of FTA duty rates
Please contact us at: 403-262-2771
More Information on Canada’s Free Trade Agreements: http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/fta-ale.aspx?lang=eng
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