Canada-Europe Trade Agreement: One More Vote To Clear 24/01/2017 by Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch 2 Comments Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Just a day after US President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament passed a recommendation in favour of adopting the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the EU. Meanwhile, the EU Trade Commissioner said trade is not to blame and the EU will negotiate many trade deals this year. INTA Committee The vote brings the broad trade deal between Canada and the 28 EU member states one step closer to its final ratification. The plenary of the European Parliament will decide on 15 February if it will follow the INTA vote. Once adopted by the plenary, CETA can enter into force provisionally, while national parliaments of all EU member states finish their ratification procedures. Several INTA members directly referred to developments in US trade policy during the debate before the vote. The majority of the European People’s Party (EPP), the Socialist and Democrat (S&D) and the Liberal (ALDE) party groups pushed for the adoption, calling on EU politicians to stand up for free trade and open markets. The split of the vote, with 15 of 41 INTA members voting against the deal, illustrates that there is still considerable opposition. In a press conference, the INTA Vice Chair Yannick Jadot, Left Party Group, INTA member Anne-Marie Mineur, and French S&D member Emmanuel Maurel explained why they had tried to at least postpone the adoption by 6 to 12 months. There are legal and economic uncertainties not addressed in the deal, they said. The Joint Committee to be established to implement “regulatory cooperation” between the two trading partners was a “fifth column for lobbyists of big business,” said Mineur, distancing the CETA opponent camp from Donald Trump’s trade policy. The new US president, Mineur said, “bases his approach on philosophies that we disagree with.” For the CETA opponents to win the vote against the agreement in the plenary there has to be more support from party groups split over the issues. The second largest party group, the S&D is in fact split, with the French members all opposed to a immediate ratification, according to Maurel. She said S&D members from Austria, Bulgaria and also some from the Netherlands also supported a no-vote for February. EU Commissioner: ‘Don’t Blame Trade’ European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem who had appealed to the INTA members to vote in favour of CETA yesterday, today spoke (full speech available here) at the Bruegel Lunch Talk where she warned against using trade deals as “handy scapegoats” for job loss and inequality. Instead, she said, automation is a much bigger job killer. She defended using trade policy to support economic development at home and abroad and to support EU values. Malmstroem argued: “If we – incorrectly – lay all the blame for economic change at the door of free trade or globalisation, we won’t end up solving our problems: we’ll just delay the solution.” Acknowledging that the election of Donald Trump “seems likely to put our EU-US negotiations firmly in the freezer at least for a while” and that “trade had to deliver”, she advocated embracing more trade negotiations. Outlining the EU trade agenda for the year, she said: “Even if the US is our most important partner, and a necessary one, the world is bigger than one country. Trump or no Trump, we have a long list of many others willing to deal with the EU, and about 20 more trade deals already in the pipeline. Certainly enough to keep us busy.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Monika Ermert may be reached at email@example.com."Canada-Europe Trade Agreement: One More Vote To Clear" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.