European Union approves trade deal with Canada

Feb 16, 2017, 00:06
European Union approves trade deal with Canada

Approved by 408 votes in favor to 254 against, with 33 abstentions, the extensive trade deal would unlock commerce between the European Union (EU) and Canada by removing tariffs on most goods and services, while also opening up Canada's public procurement market.

Last month Liam Fox, the trade secretary, visited his Canadian counterpart in Montreal where they agreed it would provide a platform for any bespoke United Kingdom deal after we leave the EU. "But the disconnect between MEPs and public concerns over living standards, public health and the environment is another blow to the European Union, just when its principles of solidarity and cooperation are most needed".

Ability for European companies to expand in the Canadian market as access to European markets (the UK's single biggest trading partner) is cut.

Some industries are left untouched by the deal, such as audiovisual and transport services and a select few agricultural products, including dairy, which is heavily subsidised in Canada.

Protesters hold signs during a demonstration against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) on Wednesday.

"There is a legitimate fear that CETA will dilute environmental standards, food security, and health and labor protection", said Alfred de Zayas, the United Nations independent expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable worldwide order, back in October.

"The reason why, is because they see CETA as an opportunity to reduce the regulation and the red tape and bureaucracy as they see it". We thank those MEPs that voted against the inclusion of shipping and hope this spirit will prevail in the upcoming trilogue negotiations.

"If you are in the export orientated business - which I think up to 80% of our small businesses are - well then there is a new market provided".

It is thought conditions of the agreement could be implemented as soon as April 2017, although it does need to be ratified by national parliaments. "This leaves us with much to worry about in any future trade deals the government negotiates, in particular with Donald Trump's U.S.".

During the debate, Fine Gael MEP Sean Kelly said he was annoyed by claims that are in "vogue" surrounding CETA and criticised the suggestion that it would put 90 million jobs at risk.

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