European Parliament backs controversial Canadian trade deal

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.

The European Parliament has voted in favour of a controversial trade deal between the EU and Canada. And unlike classic trade deals, CETA harmonizes regulations on matters such as health and the environment, a major concern for activists. The deal will be enforced provisionally once the Canadian Senate gives its green light, which is anticipated within weeks. The EU trade agreement with South Korea was ratified by national governments four-and-a-half years after most of the deal had already gone into effect.

That said, these numbers represent a notable softening in support in recent years, and a growing level of uncertainty about the trade agreement between Canada and the European Union's 28 member states, with just over one-in-three people saying they "don't know" how they feel.

But certain exceptions and protections have been put in place, including the recognition of over 140 European geographical indications for food and drinks sold on the Canadian market, such as Feta cheese from Greece and Parma ham from Italy.

She said the deal will create sizeable new market access opportunities in services and investment for Irish firms while also providing access to Canadian public contracts. The Netherlands could conceivably still block the deal if it demands an advisory national referendum. "The world is in search of a progressive, open trade agenda and Canada and the European Union embodies that", he said in an interview Tuesday.

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Brussels defends that the deal will suppress 99 percent of the tariffs and imply the saving of 500 million euros for European exporters.

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.

ECSA says the European Parliament negotiations with Member States and the Commission could start relatively soon and that ECSA will continue to strive for the full exclusion of shipping, so that the IMO roadmap agreed in October previous year will have maximum chance of succeeding.

The Canadian government has clearly gained in confidence by the signing of the CETA agreement, but there is yet a long way to go.

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