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CETA, an agreement that reflects who we are and brings us together

Ambassador Hudon visiting a farm in Les Landes

Ambassador Isabelle Hudon - March 2018

Bringing people closer together and uniting our two countries even further. That is undoubtedly my primary mission as ambassador. Which is precisely why the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union (CETA) is one of my priorities.  

Since it came into effect on September 21, 2017, this agreement has built a real bridge across the Atlantic. Reduced merchandise costs, increased mobility of people, growth and job creation: thanks to increased trade, our countries have never been so close.    

What is CETA? First of all, it is the promise of a 20 to 25 percent increase in bilateral trade between France and Canada as a result of lower tariffs, improved access to government procurement markets, and easier customs procedures, certifications and temporary mobility of workers. The agreement will benefit many sectors: agri-food, of course, but also cosmetics, the engineering and automotive industry, textiles, and pharmaceuticals. In concrete terms, for France, the ratification of CETA will translate into one billion euros of additional exports each year and the creation of 10,000 jobs.   

CETA is also an agreement that protects our consumers and our citizens. No: hormone-treated beef is not permitted under CETA. No: CETA does not authorize GMOs. No: CETA will not lead to the death of the French countryside or to the reign of multinationals. This treaty explicitly reiterates the regard for our respective sovereignty, our social models, our strict environmental and sanitary regulations—all of the values that we share.  

With CETA, we envisioned a progressive agreement. That is because we—France and Canada—are focused on the same things. Climate, multilateralism, human rights, workers’ rights, gender equality: we have common ambitions. In today’s world, no two countries are as closely aligned as France and Canada when it comes to promoting these values on the international stage.

That is why, since my arrival in November 2017, I have begun a dialogue about this with the people of France. Whether I am in Paris or travelling elsewhere in France, I readily agree to meet with citizens and talk with one and all, including those who doubt CETA’s benefits. But I am also determined to put all of my energy into championing, in France, this agreement that reflects who we are and brings us together.

Ambassador Hudon at the Salon de l'Agriculture


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