Canada-EU trade deal text leaked ahead of fall summit
A German news outlet appears to have published a portion of the final text of Canada's free trade deal with the European Union, just over a week after negotiators reached a mutual agreement.
The 519-page document, posted by the broadcaster ARD, was issued by the EU on Aug. 5. That coincides with the day Canada announced it had reached a deal with the European Union on a complete text said to be approximately 1,500 pages long.
As CBC News reported on July 31, Canada and the EU will release the final details of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement on Sept. 25 in Ottawa, effectively ending 10 months of negotiations since Prime Minister Stephen Harper flew to Brussels to sign an agreement-in-principle with EU President José Manuel Barroso.
With the technical negotiations over, International Trade Minister Ed Fast said last Tuesday Canada was submitting the complete text of the trade agreement to the provinces and territories before proceeding with translation and a final legal review.
Similarly, the document leaked today was shared by the EU with its member states.
"This is the complete outcome on the basis of which the EU and Canada will proceed with the legal scrubbing and translations, before submitting the agreement to the council for conclusion," the document says.
"This document is limited and should hence not be distributed outside the EU institutions."
The final quotas for cheese, beef and pork appear to be similar than those made under the agreement in principle.
Quotas for fine cheese, according to the leaked document, are set at 16,000 metric tonnes while quotas for industrial cheese are set at 17,000 metric tonnes.
The final quotas for Canadian beef and pork remain at approximately 50,000 and 80,000 metric tonnes respectively, also in line with quotas published under the agreement in principle.
The New Democrats said it was the annexes that appeared to be missing from the leaked document but urged the government to make the final text public.
"The government is refusing to release the official text for now, so we can’t verify the information in this leak. We do know however, that it’s missing an expected thousand pages of annexes.
"When it comes to trade, details matter. We look forward to the government providing Parliament with a verified, official text," said Greta Levy, a spokesperson for the NDP.
A spokesperson for Fast declined to comment on the leaked document but indicated the content of the final agreement would not come as a surprise to the provinces and territories.
"Last October, Canada, with the unanimous endorsement of all provinces and territories, reached an historic agreement in principle on a free trade agreement with the European Union.
"We have released comprehensive materials which describe the various elements of the agreement and clearly show the significant benefits that will be generated in every region of Canada upon the agreement’s entry into force," said Shannon Gutoskie, the press secretary to the minister of international trade.