Canada and E.U. announce a comprehensive economic and trade agreement

By Phillip Yu

After four years of negotiations, Canada and the European Union have produced the framework of a comprehensive trade agreement, hoping to create significant trade and investment liberalization between the two parties. One exciting feature of this agreement is the encouragement of increased labor mobility rights, which would allow entry of certain Canadian businesses, service providers, and employees into the European Union without the need for visas or work permits. One of the more controversial issues addressed is the European Union's demand for greater patent protection for its pharmaceutical industry to cover time lost during the lengthy patent prosecution process.

At this point, it is estimated that resolving technical and substantive details, finalizing the treaty’s text, translating the treaty, and final ratification will take at least two more years.