Deal between Europe and Canada will boost agricultural trade.
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – COCERAL, a European association representing the trade in grains, oilseeds and other agricultural products, said the E.U.-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which was approved by the European Parliament on Feb. 15, is a major boost for European agriculture.

COCERAL Secretary General Teresa Babuscio said: “After almost eight years of negotiations, we are now looking forward to the provisional application of CETA as well as its adoption by the National Parliaments to provide confidence and clarity for trade across the Atlantic.”

COCERAL said the trade liberalization brought on by CETA will serve as a model for the E.U.’s future negotiations. It noted that Canada is an important supplier of high quality wheat and canola for the E.U.’s internal consumption and that CETA would provide the framework for the already existing strong trade links between the two regions.

Trade between the E.U. and Canada amounts to more than €60 billion a year and the E.U. expects the CETA deal to boost that number by 20% by removing almost all tariffs.

The approval of the trade deal comes at a time when many political forces are trying to halt globalization. U.S. President Donald Trump recently pulled the U.S. out of the TPP trade deal with countries in the Pacific region and said he wants to renegotiate or replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Critics say the CETA deal could dilute standards for food safety by giving more power to big corporations.