The CETA negotiations were launched in May 2009 and concluded in September 2014. The EU and Canada signed the agreement on 30 October 2016. In 2015 the EU imported goods from Canada worth €28.3 billion and exported goods to it worth €35.2 billion, a figure that is expected to rise by more than 20% when the agreement is implemented in full.
The CETA will remove customs duties, end restrictions on access to public contracts, open-up the services market, offer predictable conditions for investors and help prevent illegal copying of EU innovations and traditional products.
In response to parliamentary pressure, the controversial investor-state-dispute settlement mechanism was replaced by the Investment Court System so as to ensure government control over the choice of arbitrators and enhance transparency.