MEPs back EU-Canada trade deal

CETA

Artis Pabriks
Parliament’s rapporteur for the CETA agreement Artis Pabriks

The landmark EU-Canada trade deal which aims to boost goods, services and investment has been given the green light by MEPs today (February 15).

And it could apply from April.

During a plenary vote in European Parliament just a few hours ago, the deal was approved by 408 votes to 254, with 33 abstentions.

"By adopting CETA, we chose openness and growth and high standards over protectionism and stagnation,” said Parliament’s rapporteur for the CETA agreement Artis Pabriks, after the vote.

“Canada is a country with whom we share common values and an ally we can rely on. Together we can build bridges, instead of a wall, for the prosperity of our citizens. CETA will be a lighthouse for future trade deals all over the world.”

CETA is supposed to boost trade by removing tariffs on most traded goods and services and providing mutual recognition of certification for a wide range of products. However, tariff barriers for some agricultural products like dairy, poultry and eggs will not be removed and neither will

Canada will open up its federal and municipal public procurement markets, which are already open in Europe. This means EU suppliers will get access to the Canadian market.

As part of the negotiations, the EU secured protection for more than 140 European geographical indications for food and drinks sold on the Canadian market, as well as including sustainable development clauses to safeguard social and environmental standards.

Other safeguards to ensure trade and investment on both sides have also been put in place.

There have been concerns CETA gives too much power to multinational companies and governments will not be able to legislate to protect health, safety or the environment.

“The EU and Canada recognise in both the preamble to the deal and an attached joint declaration that its provisions apply without prejudice to the domestic right to regulate,” says a release.

The deal could apply provisionally from April, subject to both sides completing all necessary internal procedures. However, CETA will also need to be ratified by national and regional parliaments.



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