Transatlantic Economic Relations: USA and Canada

In March 2016, the European Parliament has released an informative "Fact Sheet" which takes stock of the Transatlantic Relations – the EU relations with the United States and Canada – both from the geopolitical and the economic point of view. 

(Please be informed that copy of the fact Sheet is abvailble at the end of this news, in English, French and German)

Key points raised in the Fact Sheet produced by the EU Parliament.

The combined economies of the EU and the US account for almost 50% of global gross domestic product (GDP) and one third of world trade. In 2014 the EU maintained its position as the US’s largest merchandise trade partner — ahead of Canada, the country’s North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partner, and China. The US was the Union’s primary export destination in 2014, absorbing 18.3% of total EU goods exports (compared with China’s 9.7%). The US ranked second among the EU’s import partners, and still supplied 12.2% of the EU’s imported goods. In this respect, the US lagged behind China, which supplied 17.9%, but was ahead of Russia, which supplied 10.8% of the EU’s total imports. Estimates indicate that EU and US companies operating on one another’s territory provide jobs for more than 14 million people.

In 2014 the EU was Canada’s second-largest trading partner, after the US, with around 9.4% of Canada’s total combined exports and imports of goods. In 2014 the EU exported goods worth EUR 31.7 billion to Canada and absorbed Canadian goods valued at EUR 27.4 billion. In 2014 Canada ranked 12th among the EU’s international trading partners. Machinery, transport equipment and chemicals are among the main goods traded between the two partners. Trade in services is an important part of the EU-Canada trade relationship. In 2014 the value of EU exports of services to Canada decreased, compared with 2013, to EUR 15.9 billion, and the Union’s imports of services from Canada remained at EUR 11.3 billion. Transport, travel, insurance and communication are some examples of services traded frequently between the EU and Canada.

With a view to fully exploiting opportunities for commercial relations, negotiations on comprehensive free trade and investment agreements are advancing. Negotiations on the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the parallel Strategic Partnership Agreement were concluded in September 2014.  This agreement represents EU’s first comprehensive economic agreement with a highly industrialised country. The EU and Canada will open their markets to one another’s goods, services and investments, including via public procurement. An ex-ante impact assessment carried out in 2008 estimated annual real income gains of approximately EUR 11.6 billion for the EU, and EUR 8.2 billion for Canada, within the seven years following the agreement’s implementation. CETA is also the first of the EU’s bilateral economic agreements to incorporate a special Investment Court System (ICS), called a tribunal, for the resolution of investment disputes between investors and states

Negotiations on an EU-US agreement — the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) — were launched on 8 July 2013. By mid March 2016, twelve rounds of negotiations had taken place. Members of the European Parliament have actively participated in the EU’s dialogue with the US and Canada.

Copy of the study is available here: 




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