Canada Pm Arrives In Brussels To Conclude Eu Deal

An agreement-in-principle is expected to be concluded Friday by Harper and European Commissioner Jose Manuel Barroso. Yves Leduc, director of international trade for the Dairy Farmers of Canada, said he’s been told by a Canadian government official that an agreement in principle has been reached and that the European Union’s 28 members and Canada’s 10 provinces have to approve it. Canada has agreed to permit a doubling of the EU quota on cheese exports to Canada in exchange for greater access for Canadian beef and pork producers. Leduc said Canada’s cheese industry is angry because it threatens the fine cheese market in Canada. “For the dairy farmers of Canada this is a deal that is unacceptable. We’re more than disappointed,” Leduc said. “It will allow significant access of high quality or fine cheeses into Canada, a segment that is supplied by the smaller or medium size cheese factories in Canada.” Harper has said that a free trade deal between his country and the European Union could help the EU establish a beachhead as they embark on separate free trade talks with the U.S. If a U.S.-EU trade deal is reached, it could be the world’s largest free trade pact. Canada hopes to diversify Canada’s trade away from the U.S., the country’s largest trading partner. Canada’s finance minister has said despite Europe’s struggles, Canada remains very interested because the EU is still the largest market in the world in terms of the size of its middle class. The Canada-EU deal would make it easier for Canadian companies to invest in, and sell to, the 17-member EU with its 500 million consumers. In 2012, Canada was the EU’s 12th most important trading partner, accounting for 1.8 percent of the EU’s external trade.

Canada reimposed visa requirements for Czech citizens in 2007 because of concerns over an excessive number of asylum seekers. Canada’s Ambassador to Prague, Otto, Jelinek, said his government wants to re-establish visa-free status “in the earliest possible term.” EU trade spokesman John Clancy said in an e-mail that the European Union and Canada hope to conclude the free trade deal in the “coming days.” Harper’s office said he was headed to Brussels with the hope of concluding a deal. He will meet with the president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso. Yves Leduc, director of international trade for the Dairy Farmers of Canada, said he’s been told by a Canadian government official that an agreement in principle has been reached and that the European Union’s 28 members and Canada’s 10 provinces have to approve it. Canada has agreed to permit a doubling of the EU quota on cheese exports to Canada in exchange for greater access for Canadian beef and pork producers. Leduc said Canada’s cheese industry is angry because it threatens the fine cheese market in Canada. “For the dairy farmers of Canada this is a deal that is unacceptable. We’re more than disappointed,” Leduc said. “It will allow significant access of high quality or fine cheeses into Canada, a segment that is supplied by the smaller or medium size cheese factories in Canada.” Harper has said that a free trade deal between his country and the European Union could help the EU establish a beachhead as the bloc embark on separate free trade talks with the U.S. If a U.S.-EU trade deal is reached, it could be the world’s largest free trade pact. Canada hopes to become less reliant on the U.S., the country’s largest trading partner. In 2012, Canada was the EU’s 12th most important trading partner, accounting for 1.8 percent of the EU’s external trade. The EU was Canada’s second biggest partner with about 9.5 percent of external trade.