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Canada-Israel free trade agreement to include first-of-its-kind gender equality provision

Minister of International Trade Francois-Philippe Champagne speaks to press about the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, in Toronto on Tuesday, January 23, 2018.
Minister of International Trade Francois-Philippe Champagne speaks to press about the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, in Toronto on Tuesday, January 23, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

Canada’s international trade minister says the updated and expanded free trade agreement with Israel includes a provision on gender equality unique in the world.

Francois-Philippe Champagne said today the new chapter on trade and gender will be subject to the dispute settlement mechanism in the new deal between the two countries.

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Champagne says it is a world first for a trade agreement to include a chapter on gender equality that falls under the scope of a dispute mechanism.

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Israel Economy Minister Eli Cohen and Champagne are scheduled to formally sign the agreement later today at a private event closed to the media.

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Canada and Israel have had a free trade agreement for more than two decades and this updated deal expands market access for both countries and includes new chapters on issues such as e-commerce, intellectual property and labour.

Negotiations to update the agreement began under the Stephen Harper government in 2014 and were concluded by the Trudeau Liberals.