Lot of work left on Canada-EU trade deal, both sides say

Thu Nov 1, 2012 2:55pm EDT
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

* Canada-EU deal supposed to be finished by end of 2012

* Officials say most complex files are yet to be settled

* Canada keen to diversify exports away from United States

By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Canada and the European Union still have plenty of work to do on a proposed free trade treaty that is supposed to be finished by the end of the year, officials from both sides said on Thursday.

Canada, keen to diversify its exports away from the United States, says a deal with the European Union would increase two-way trade by 20 percent. The talks started in 2009.

But several sensitive matters remain to be settled, including access for agricultural goods, opening up procurement markets and the extension of pharmaceutical patents.

"Our negotiators are still in regular touch with the EU negotiators. There are still a lot of discussions that have to take place," Canadian Trade Minister Ed Fast told Reuters by telephone.

"There is a small basket of issues left and as in any negotiations, they are the toughest ones to resolve. I am certainly committed to negotiating around or through those."   Continued...