Spirits industry hails EU-Canada CETA deal

21st September, 2017 by Annie Hayes

Spirits Europe has “warmly welcomed” the implementation of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), and called on the European Union to “build on its success”.

Spirits Europe has “warmly welcomed” the implementation of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement

The trade deal, which aims to increase trade in goods and services and boost investment, was approved by the European Parliament back in February.

Under the terms of the CETA deal, most tariffs will be removed and more geographical indications (GIs) will be recognised.

“At last! We are delighted that the long years of negotiations, legal scrubbing, translation and ratification come to a practical conclusion today,” said Marie Audren, director external trade, Spirits Europe.

“Despite the nay-sayers, we strongly believe the CETA deal will bring long-term sustainable advantages to both Canadian and European citizens, consumers and businesses.

“The benefits of the deal will start being felt from today. This is a very timely boost for advocates of open trade, at a time when some are looking for a more protectionist, insular approach.

“We urge the European Union to build on this success, and to double-down on its trade agenda over the coming years. The opportunity is clear, all it takes is political support and resources.

“We will continue to support an assertive, ambitious and accelerated EU trade strategy. Indeed, our distilleries, their employees and suppliers all depend on it!”

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) also hailed the realisation of the deal, which it says will “pave the way” for export growth to Canada.

Canada is Scotch whisky’s fifteenth largest market by value, with exports worth more than £73 million a year.

The category will also benefit from the removal of Canadian liquor board requirements to dilute bulk imports with Canadian product.

Under the requirement, a minimum of 1% Canadian spirit had to be added to imports if the product was bottled by anyone other than the Canadian liquor boards.

Karen Betts, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said: “Open markets matter to Scotch whisky and CETA delivers benefits that will help to promote fair competition and grow our exports to Canada.

“With the Scotch whisky industry supporting 40,000 jobs and adding value of £5 billion annually, the boost to trade from CETA will be good for the entire UK economy and export success.

“As we move towards Brexit, we are calling for the UK to pursue an ambitious global trade policy. A first priority will be to ensure the benefits of existing trade deals, such as CETA, will continue to be enjoyed by UK businesses.

“And we are calling on the UK Government then to pursue a series of new trade deals with markets around the world.”

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