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We congratulate the government for reaching an important milestone towards ratification of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union. International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland announced Monday that the complex process of drafting the legal text was complete.

The CETA agreement will be a critical achievement when it’s ratified, giving Canada excellent access to a massive market of over 500 million people. Completing the legal agreement is a major step towards closing the deal.

Monday’s announcement also signifies an agreement has been reached on the important issue of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). The new form of ISDS will ensure governments do not discriminate against foreign investors, while maintaining the independence to adopt new laws and regulations in areas like the environment, labour rules and health standards.

CETA is both ambitious and broad. There’s always the danger that the parties will come away from negotiations with differing interpretations. Completing the legal text means all the nations in the agreement have a common understanding and a common goal: to complete this historic market opening. We now have an agreed text. We call upon all parties to ratify it without further delay.

With the completion of the text, the process of ratification can begin, both in Canada and in the European Parliament. The agreement is expected to come into force next year.

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