Canada ratifies new trade agreement with Ukraine despite opposition from conservatives

Members of the upper house of the Canadian Parliament (Senate) on Tuesday approved a new free trade agreement with Ukraine (CUFTA), which will replace the previous one that has been in effect since 2017, reported the website of the Canadian government.

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Not a single senator from the Conservative Party of Canada supported the bill. CBC explained that the claims of the conservatives are formally related to the fact that the agreement mentions the intention to "promote carbon pricing". However, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly accused conservatives of trying to block aid to Ukraine, following the example of some Republicans in the United States.

The website of the Government of Canada reports that the law immediately received the approval of the Governor-General.

"When Ukraine wins the war, Canadian businesses and exporters will be ready to rebuild because our modernized free trade agreement will have put the right frameworks in place," commented Trade Minister Mary Ng on the ratification of the agreement.

The Verkhovna Rada has not yet ratified the agreement.

Ukraine and Canada signed an updated free trade agreement in September 2023.

The main differences of the new agreement were that, in addition to canceling tariffs, Ukraine and Canada expand opportunities for enterprises that have not only Ukrainian, but also foreign components in their products. This means that tariffs on Ukrainian goods whose components originate from the EU, the European Free Trade Association, Britain and Israel will be abolished.

The second important element of the agreement is that it allows the parties everything that is not prohibited in the sphere of investments and services. The contract does not regulate what is allowed, but on the contrary – prescribes exceptions to the complete freedom to provide services.

One of the chapters contains the agreement on digital commerce, which outlines all the basic freedoms in this area. This is the second such agreement for Ukraine. The first was concluded with Britain in January 2023.

Ukraine and Canada signed an agreement on the creation of a free trade zone in 2016. At that time, it was the largest such agreement after the free trade zone with the European Union. The document provided for the opening of 98% of the Canadian goods market for Ukrainian exporters. Negotiations on signing an agreement with Canada lasted from 2010 to 2015.