While Donald Trump was ducking the virtual G-7 meeting for a round of golf, Canada and the UK used the meeting as a backdrop to announce a new trade deal between the two countries. Actually the new deal is an extension, with some minor rewording of an existing trade deal. By making the announcement, Canada and Britain have beaten the Dec. 31 Brexit deadline that would have triggered new tariffs on a range of Canadian exports.
It is an interim deal will replace Canada’s current agreement with Britain under the European Union that currently covers trade between the two countries, until a new formal pact can be negotiated in the coming year.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his British counterpart, Boris Johnson, made the announcement during a live video news conference on Saturday morning.
“This is a good moment,” Trudeau said, dubbing the deal the Canada-U.K. Trade Continuity Agreement.
Johnson said the deal would help both countries to rebuild their economies after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Britain’s decision to leave the EU meant that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA, that covered trade with Canada, will no longer apply to the country at the end of the year.
The new deal preserves CETA’s key provisions while the two countries work out a new, more comprehensive agreement. It means the elimination of tariffs on 98 per cent of Canadian exports to Britain, which is Canada’s fifth largest trading partner with $29 billion in two-way merchandise trade in