Operating Structure & Priorities
CERT members collectively draft policy recommendations to remove market distorting inefficiencies in Canadian and EU trade and investment policies. The recommendations are formulated under the priority areas of the 2003 CERT Action Programme . The recommendations are adopted at the Executive Roundtables and then submitted to EU and Canadian officials on the occasions of the Canada-EU Summit meetings and at regular meetings with negotiators. Areas of focus include:
Regulatory Cooperation includes closer alignment of Canadian and EU regulatory structures, including data and information sharing, speeding up the policy formulation process and co-operating on the formulation of best practices and the promotion of new regulations. Priorities include science-based risk assessment in regulatory formation and a common approach based on the principles of equivalency and mutual recognition.
The elimination of remaining tariffs, especially on manufactured goods, textiles, agriculture and agri-food foods. The elimination of standards and technical regulations that favour national products and create non-tariff barriers (NTB’s).
Best practice should be utilized in modern customs techniques and cooperation in the field of electronic data exchange. Security measures should be balanced with impacts on trade and promotion of the common application of international rules, standards and guidelines.
Canada-EU should unify all bilateral Foreign Investment Protection Agreements (FIPAs) into a single agreement and strive to remove restrictive foreign ownership requirements.
A dispute settlement mechanism gives certainty to businesses that both countries will be compliant to the agreed rules and regulations and that local regulations will not overrule the bilateral agreements.
Canada and the EU should strive to facilitate professional labour mobility, including the recognition of professional qualifications, in efforts to establish a common skilled labour market between the two territories.
Competition & Public Procurement
Avoidance of inconsistent demands on business from divergent national law and policy standards by committing to a framework regarding the application of comity principle are the key priority areas. Sharing of sensitive information in the merger review process.
On public procurement, CERT would like to see the restrictive rules and methods which form a barrier to competitiveness for international businesses trying to compete for government contracts removed.
Financial Services & Taxation
The overall goal is to promote freer trade in financial services and joint action to eliminate tax barriers to investment.
Trade and the Environment
Priorities includes: 1) development a framework for a functioning carbon economy between Canada and the European Union, and 2) ensuring the use of environmental measures is not done in a manner to disguise unjustified and discriminatory non-tariff barriers to trade.
A strong IPP helps retain talent, encourage leading-edge research, stimulating companies that are able to provide innovative, value-added goods and services to international markets. IPP is most critical in knowledge-based industries where robust protection is required protect research and development.
Energy, Science & Technology
The creation of a strategic energy framework that includes provisions to address energy security, future use of northern and arctic resources and technical cooperation on advanced and environmentally friendly technologies.
World Trade Organisation
CERT fully supports objectives of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) and believes that substantial progress must be made in order to protect the integrity of the WTO system.