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CETA: Trade Committee MEPs back EU-Canada agreement

Added 1/24/2017
Ilustrační foto
European Parliament - 24. 1. 2017; Photo European Commision
The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which aims to boost goods and services trade and investment flows, was approved by the International Trade Committee on Tuesday. The full House is to vote on the deal in February.
"By approving CETA today we take a significant step forward. In the face of rising protectionism and populism, Parliament is able and willing to act on behalf of European citizens. I stand for a strong and global Europe and for open markets. Ratifying this agreement with Canada will enable trade to continue to bring wealth to both shores of our transatlantic friendship.  The duty of our governments is to ensure that each and every one of us benefits from this wealth”, rapporteur for the CETA agreement Artis Pabriks (EPP, LV) said before the vote.

The draft recommendation was passed by 25 votes to 15 with 1 abstention.

Goods and services trade

CETA will remove tariffs on most traded goods and services. It also provides for the mutual recognition of certification for a wide range of products. This means that if an EU firm wants to export toys, for example, it will only need to get its product tested once, in Europe, to obtain a certificate that is valid for Canada, thus saving time and money.

Canada is to open up its public procurement markets at both federal and municipal levels, to ensure symmetrical access. EU service suppliers ranging from maritime services through telecoms and engineering to environmental services and accountancy are to benefit from access to the Canadian market.

Safeguards for agricultural goods and environmental and social standards

In negotiations, the EU secured protection for over 140 EuEuropean Commissionropean geographical indications for food and drinks sold on the Canadian market. Sustainable development provisions were included to maintain environmental and social standards and ensure that trade and investment enhance both.

To allay citizens’ concerns that the deal gives too much power to multinational companies and that 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 these provisions preserve the domestic right to regulate.