Multilateral Mishap

German Complaints Over Investor Rights Claims May Delay EU-Canada Deal Signing

Protests in Ontario in Canada against the free trade agreement.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The two sides have been negotiating a trade deal for five years, but just a month before it is due to be signed, Germany appears to be getting cold feet. A failed deal will derail a significant trade agreement between the United States and Europe.

  • Facts


    • The European Union and Canada have been negotiating a free trade agreement since 2009.
    • The deal is supposed to be signed in September, but Germany has registered last minute complaints.
    • Canada is a more important trading partner to the European Union overall than it is to Germany.
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A German diplomat in Brussels said the whole situation needs clarification. Germany will only sign the treaty, which is due to be ratified in September, if it is modified.

Canada and the European Union have been negotiating the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, known as CETA, since 2009, with the aim of removing barriers to trade between the two entities. The European Union says the planned treaty will remove 99 percent of tariffs between the two economies.

The deal is as important to Canada as it is to the 28-member European group, as the European Union is Canada’s second most important trading partner after the United States, accounting for just under 10 percent of its external trade. Canada is the European Union’s 12th most important trading partner.

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