The European Union represents Canada’s second largest merchandise export destination after the United States, accounting for approximately 7.5% of Canadian global merchandise exports over the last five years. On September 21st, 2017, the Canada–European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), Canada’s most ambitious trade agreement since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), entered into force.
According to Statistics Canada, exports to the Netherlands led all major European destinations and advanced 56.0%, on the back of higher exports of energy products and aluminum. However, this number is likely inflated by trans-shipments destined to other European countries, as the Netherlands is home to the largest port in Europe (Port of Rotterdam). Other notable increases include Ireland (cereals and energy products), Italy (pharmaceuticals), Poland (energy products), and Germany (vehicle & parts and machinery). In contrast, exports contracted slightly to Sweden (mineral ores), the UK (nickel and precious stones & metals), and France (oil seeds and machinery).
Since the implementation of CETA, Canadian exporters have seen positive results across many sectors. Of the major export sectors, the most impressive growth is found in aluminum, where exports rose 252.0% mostly due to unwrought aluminum destined to the Netherlands. Vehicles and parts (passenger vehicles), energy products (crude oil), miscellaneous base metals (cobalt), and pharmaceuticals (dosage medicaments) also recorded significant growth during this period. Moreover, products that saw the largest declines in tariffs as a result of CETA saw the largest trade gains (a more in‑depth analysis can be found in “CETA benefits already visible a year after its entry into force”).
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