Published: Thu, February 16, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

"Global Europe" secures trade deal with Canada as United Kingdom gets shut out

Trade between the two sides amounts to more than 60bn euros (C$83bn) a year, and the European Union expects the so-called Ceta deal (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) to boost this by 20% by removing nearly all tariffs.

We write to ask you to oppose the ratification of Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the EU-Canada trade deal due to be voted on in the European Parliament on February 15.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will become the first Canadian leader to address the European Parliament on Thursday. CETA will remove 99 percent of non-farm customs duties between the two sides, a big win for exporters on both sides of the Atlantic.

The EU says CETA, which took five years to negotiate, would boost the bloc's economic output by around 12 billion euros ($13 billion) a year and expand two-way trade by about a quarter.

"More than 2,000 cities, regions and organizations have declared themselves to be "CETA-and TTIP-free-zones" and in countries like the Netherlands and Austria public protest is large", the politician said, also recalling the similar EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which is still in the negotiations stage. "The vote completely ignores the real progress that has already been made by IMO - which under the Kyoto Protocol, to which EU Member States are signatory, has a mandate to address Carbon dioxide emissions from global shipping".

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.

With 695 members of the European Parliament present, the agreement was ratified after three hours of sometimes loud debate by a vote of 408-254, with 33 abstentions, reported the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Canada's national newscaster.

The EU is Canada's second-largest trading partner after the US and accounts for almost 10 per cent of its external trade.

One official said this is a crowd that needs to hear that message because it not one that is "particularly cognizant" of.

"With the Scotch Whisky industry supporting 40,000 jobs in the United Kingdom and adding value of £5 billion annually, any boosts from CETA would be good for the entire United Kingdom economy and export success".

"By backing the free trade agreement with Canada today, we have shown that the European Union is a credible and reliable trading partner".

Originally entitled the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), the controversial court has now been rebranded as an "Investment Court System" (ICS).

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