Tough lessons for EU trade policy after Wallonian cliffhanger
Marietje Schaake welcomes the Belgian deal about signing the trade agreement with Canda (CETA). The EU-Canada summit should now be rescheduled as soon as possible. Schaake: 'CETA is a good deal and I am happy that we can now take the next step with Canada, our strongest ally. The process to get here was very tough and damaging for the EU. That must not happen again. First of all, it is crucial that trade ministers take more responsibility for their policies and involve people in better trade agreements. Otherwise the unclarity about what kind of mandate European negotiators have will remain and that will undermine the EU's negotiating position even further, which would be very problematic. The EU needs a strong position, also when it comes to negotiations for example on climate or human rights."
CETA is a treaty that offers real economic benefits and strengthens the cooperation between Canada and the EU to promote fair trade. Tariffs will be lowered and European companies will get access to the Canadian public procurement market, which is worth 30 billion a year. Schaake: "CETA is good for our economy, but even more important now that Canada is closing a deal with Asian countries. Without CETA, European companies will be less competitive vis-a-vis Japanese or Australian companies operating in China."
CETA also contains clauses to uphold standards and promote sustainable development. "In CETA, we agree that consumers, workers and the environment must be protected and for example that we want to counter the illegal trade in endangered animals or illegal fishing. This is especially necessary because the rules based system is under pressure from rising economies that do not share our values. Together with Canada, we stand stronger in a rapidly changing world."