- Canada and the European Union signed a much beleaguered trade deal that promises to cut 98% of tariffs on industrial goods, farm and food items, as well as open the service sector in cargo shipping, maritime services, and financing to European firms, the New York Times reported Monday.
- The deal faced significant opposition from citizens in Belgium, which sought to protect its farm products and sovereignty, according to various news outlets.
- Negotiators conceded farm subsidies in the country and allowed Belgium to challenge sovereignty before the European Court of Justice, however, setting an example for how trade deals could prevail despite citizen opposition, according to Fortune.
Any agreement to lower tariffs and other protectionist measures benefits the supply chain. Now, companies with operations between Canada and the EU may find their trade costs significantly reduced. Exporters of machinery, chemicals, transport equipment, pearls and minerals will benefit the most from the deal.
In addition, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement opens access to transportation of empty containers and dredging services, which should provide a boost to European shipping lines with operations in the region.
However, both the size of the deal and the countries involved is only marginal compared to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and hardly represents a reversal in global sentiment. Canada, after all, is a fourth of the size of the U.S. and while the EU represents more countries than those involved in the TPP, a single institution has united European countries for over a decade.
Meanwhile, in the U.S. a similar trade deal has stalled due to reported intransigence on both sides and the Trans-Pacific Partnership continues to suffer from campaign rhetoric.