I've been excited to look at a number of aspects of the Canada - EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), including regulation, investment and IP. So I was excited to see the news reports this week that it was almost done. Then today there were headlines like this:
- The Globe and Mail: Canada, EU, unveil 'historic' free trade agreement;
- The European Commission: EU and Canada strike free trade deal.
Great, I thought. I can't wait to see the text!
But then I saw this:
But the text of the so-called CETA agreement remains a private document that still requires "drafting and fine tuning" and will need a "scrub" from lawyers to make sure it is "legally coherent," a Canadian official said in Brussels on condition he not be identified.
It could be another 18 to 24 months before final European approval is given, and Canada will likely proceed along a similar time frame, the official said.
... ratification could be complex, perhaps requiring all 28 EU members to ratify, as well as a green light on key issues from Canada's 10 provinces.
Presumably they will have to release the text at some point before approval, but it may be a while.