OTTAWA - A look at some of the key measures in the Canada-Europe free trade deal announced Friday:
Overall: The agreement calls for the elimination of about 98 per cent of tariffs on both sides from Day 1 of implementation and 95 per cent of agricultural tariffs. Some tariffs are being phased out over seven years
Pharmaceuticals: Canada will partially extend patent protection for brand-name drugs, which would delay the introduction of cheaper generics by up to two years. Officials say it will be eight years before any impact of these changes show up as higher costs for provincial drug plans.
Agriculture: Canadian beef farmers increase their quota by 50,000 tonnes, in addition to 15,000 tonnes for high-quality beef. Pork farmers will see their quota rise to 80,000 tonnes from the current 6,000. But producers will have to convert to hormone-free product for the European market, which experts say can add about 15 per cent to costs.
The EU will be allowed to sell an extra 16,000 tonnes of cheese to Canada. This represents 4.2 per cent of Canada's current market, which officials say is growing at 6,000 tonnes a year. In the two-year implementation process, growth may be able to absorb all or most of Europe's increased sales.
Automotive: Domestic car producers will be able to increase sales into Europe to 100,000 units from about 10,000 today under relaxed rules of origin. The EU will phase out its 10-per-cent tariff on imports.
Miscellaneous: Europeans will be allowed to keep so-called geographical indicators which essentially patent products produced in distinctive areas, such as Prosciutto di Parma and Prosciutto di San Daniele.
— Punitive European tariffs on fish and seafood products will be phased out, but Newfoundland will need to eliminate its minimum processing requirement that keeps jobs in the province.
— Foreign takeovers of Canadian firms now require a formal review if the deal is worth $1 billion or more, but this agreement will raise that to $1.5 billion.
— Companies will be allowed to bid on major government procurement contracts right down to the municipal level. A joint study showed the new access will give European companies leeway to bid on federal contracts worth between $15 billion and $19 billion an year, and municipal contracts worth $112 billion a year.
© Copyright 2013