Stakeholder, Parliamentary and Third Country Concerns about the EU-Canada Comprehensive Trade and Economic Agreement (CETA)

16-12-2014

The EU-Canada Comprehensive Trade and Economic Agreement (CETA) – covering a plethora of issues, including market access, tariffs and non-tariff barriers – has elicited varied reactions from stakeholders. Business associations on both sides of the Atlantic have strongly supported the deal and its aim to boost economic relations between the partners. On the other hand, some civil society groups, trade unions and agricultural associations have voiced hesitations about some of the deal’s provisions and its impact on the agricultural sector, the job market and quality of public services. CETA negotiations have also provided civil society an opportunity to discuss indirectly related issues, including visa policies, data privacy and the EU ban on the trade in seal products. Both the European and Canadian Parliaments have actively monitored the negotiations and provided opportunities for stakeholders to express their opinions. While consultation and public outreach now appears to have resolved most hurdles, criticism about the negotiations’ transparency and inclusiveness – as well as concerns about the inclusion of investment protection clauses – have not entirely abated. Turkey and Canada’s partners in the North American Free Trade Agreement (the US and Mexico) also have distinct reasons to fear the impact of CETA on their own economies.

The EU-Canada Comprehensive Trade and Economic Agreement (CETA) – covering a plethora of issues, including market access, tariffs and non-tariff barriers – has elicited varied reactions from stakeholders. Business associations on both sides of the Atlantic have strongly supported the deal and its aim to boost economic relations between the partners. On the other hand, some civil society groups, trade unions and agricultural associations have voiced hesitations about some of the deal’s provisions and its impact on the agricultural sector, the job market and quality of public services. CETA negotiations have also provided civil society an opportunity to discuss indirectly related issues, including visa policies, data privacy and the EU ban on the trade in seal products. Both the European and Canadian Parliaments have actively monitored the negotiations and provided opportunities for stakeholders to express their opinions. While consultation and public outreach now appears to have resolved most hurdles, criticism about the negotiations’ transparency and inclusiveness – as well as concerns about the inclusion of investment protection clauses – have not entirely abated. Turkey and Canada’s partners in the North American Free Trade Agreement (the US and Mexico) also have distinct reasons to fear the impact of CETA on their own economies.