CETA is Canada`s largest bilateral initiative since NAFTA. It was launched as a result of a joint study « Assessing the Costs and Benefits of a Closer EU-Canada Economic Partnership » published in October 2008. Officials announced the opening of negotiations on May 6, 2009 at the Canada-EU Summit in Prague   At the conclusion of the Canada-EU Summit in Ottawa on March 18, 2004, at which the Heads of State and Government agreed on a framework for a new Canada-EU Trade and Investment Promotion Agreement (TIEA). TIEA should go beyond traditional market access issues and include areas such as trade and investment facilitation, competition, mutual recognition of professional qualifications, financial services, e-commerce, temporary access, small and medium-sized enterprises, sustainable development and the exchange of knowledge and technology. TIEA should also build on a regulatory cooperation framework between Canada and the EU to promote bilateral cooperation on the regulatory approach, promote best regulatory practices and facilitate trade and investment. In addition to removing barriers, TIEA is expected to increase Canadian and European interest in each other`s markets.  TIEA lasted until 2006, when Canada and the EU decided to halt negotiations. This has led to negotiations for a canada-EU trade agreement (later renamed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and this agreement, beyond TIEA, is in line with an agreement with a much broader and more ambitious scope. Negotiations ended in August 2014. All 28 EU member states have approved the final text of CETA, with Belgium being the last country to give its approval.  Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, travelled to Brussels on October 30, 2016 to sign on behalf of Canada.
 The European Parliament approved the agreement on 15 February 2017.  The agreement is subject to ratification by the EU and national lawmakers.   It could only come into force if, at Belgium`s request, the European Court of Justice had not issued a negative opinion on the dispute settlement mechanism.  In its opinion, the European Court of Justice found that the dispute settlement mechanism was in line with EU law.  Until it enters into formal force, the essential parts apply on an interim basis from 21 September 2017.  The ue-Canada agreement is called the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, short for Ceta. On 26 March 2014, Federal Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel wrote an open letter to EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht, in which he said that investment protection was a central sensitive issue that could ultimately decide whether a transatlantic free trade agreement would be approved by Germany. He also noted that there was no need for investment arbitration procedures between countries with well-developed legal systems. At first, it was not known whether or not EU Member States should ratify the agreement, given that the European Commission placed the treaty solely under the EU`s responsibility.
 However, in July 2016, it was decided to characterize CETA as a « mixed agreement » and therefore ratify it through national procedures.  We continue to call on Canadian companies to plan for changes in EU-UK relations or changes in UK internal processes and regulations that could affect trade between Canada and the United Kingdom.