How long do we really have before CETA begins impacting our business?
In addition to its breadth and overall ambition, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) also gives Canadian businesses a first mover advantage over their US-based competitors – the EU and US have only just begun their discussions.
Having participated in the CETA process as Ontario’s chief negotiator, I can tell you that the duration of that first mover advantage is anything but certain.
Canada’s negotiations with the EU took 4 years to reach an agreement in principle; US discussions could be equally complex and time consuming or they could benefit from the agreement Canada has struck and be concluded much more quickly.
Either way, prudent planners will start now to take advantage of the first mover window for however long it remains open
The importance that has been attached to completing the deal by both Prime Minister Harper and President Barroso is definitely helping the process move along briskly. Canadian Trade Minister Ed Fast has talked about 18-24 months from October 2013 before implementation, which should mean that the deal could come into force as soon as the second quarter of 2015.