Canada Pm Says Close To Reaching Free Trade Deal With Eu

Canada PM to Head to Brussels to Conclude EU Deal

The TSX tracked larger gains in U.S. equity markets, which rose on optimism that a fiscal deal that would prevent Canada’s biggest trade partner defaulting on its debt could be wrangled between Washington lawmakers at the eleventh-hour. North American equities are likely to keep fluctuating on each twist and turn of the debt saga, and then resume their focus on the data that will inform the Federal Reserve’s decision on when to pull back its monetary stimulus, said Michael Sprung, president at Sprung Investment Management Inc. “Until we see something towards a more sustainable course for the U.S. fiscal situation I don’t think we’re going to be out of the woods for a while,” he said. “Today it’s the fiscal concerns and tomorrow it’ll be the next economic release, whether it be employment or manufacturing or house prices or whatever.” The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed the session up 25.75 points, or 0.2 percent, at 12,957.21. Nine of the index’s 10 main groups ended in positive territory. Wall Street stocks jumped more than 1 percent. “The U.S. market is popping up on the upside, so I guess they’re optimistic, and it’ll eventually drag us up,” said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC Capital Markets. The heavily weighted financials and energy groups were up 0.3 percent and 0.6 percent respectively. Brent crude oil prices rose above $110 a barrel, while U.S.

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. The EU was Canada’s second biggest partner with about 9.5 percent of external trade. The value of the bilateral trade in goods between the EU and Canada was $84 billion in 2012, according to the EU. The EU says machinery, transport equipment and chemicals dominate the EU’s exports to Canada. The trade agreement, on which talks were first launched in 2009, seeks to lower or erase tariffs and facilitate mutual market access for trade in goods, services and investment. It aims at making it easier for companies to bid for government contracts in the other economy.

Caption OTTAWA: Canada is close to reaching a free trade deal with the European Union, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Wednesday. “We will soon complete negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union,” Harper said in a Twitter message. He was echoed by EU Trade spokesman John Clancy, who said: “Discussions are indeed continuing at the highest level between the EU and Canada towards a comprehensive free trade deal (CETA) — with the hope to conclude the negotiations in the coming days.” Official sources told AFP the deal would give the European Union increased access for cheese sales, clearing one of the last hurdles to a free trade pact. The agreement-in-principle must now be sent back to Canada’s provinces for final approval, they said. On several previous occasions, officials on both sides of the Atlantic have touted a deal was imminent but deadlines passed and no announcement was forthcoming. Negotiations started in 2009 with the expectation they would be concluded by late 2012, but they became deadlocked over a few holdout issues, mainly in agriculture. Canada asked for increased European access for its beef while the EU sought to lower tariffs of up to 300 per cent shielding Canada’s supply-managed dairy industry from imports of European cheeses. On Wednesday, the Canadian dairy farmers’ association said it would not support a deal that would allow the EU to sell more cheese in this country, arguing that its current quota was already generous. “This (potential) deal would displace our local products with subsidized cheeses from EU and risk our small businesses being shut down or put out of business. This is unacceptable,” the Dairy Farmers of Canada said in a statement. Rudy Husny, spokesman for Canadian Trade Minister Ed Fast, however, reminded that Harper committed to protecting Canada’s supply-managed agricultural sectors. “Our government has been clear.