BLOCK THE CETA TRADE AGREEMENT: EU Trade Ministers Postpone Decision On CETA Free Trade Agreement with Canada

Region:

The Canada and European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is described by the media as “a high quality agreement that reinforces Canada’s fundamental relationship with the European Union.”

But there more than meets the eye.

CETA includes the entire neoliberal policy gamut: commodity trade,  trade in services, investment, intellectual property, financial services provisions, all of which are contained in the US sponsored TTIP agreement. CETA is a de facto “carbon copy” of the controversial  Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union and the United States, which has been temporarily “blocked” by both the European Parliament and the US Congress.

The CETA agreement –presented to public opinion as an innocuous “bilateral” EU-Canada trade deal– constitutes a TTIP in disguise, which would eventually evolve towards the integration of NAFTA and the EU, i.e into what might be described as a giant “North Atlantic Trade and Investment Area”.  Those who are involved in the negotiations are fully aware that CETA is a back-door mechanism which would would create the underlying conditions for the formation of a North Atlantic Trading Block, i.e. a US “Imperial Project”  controlled by Washington

In recent developments Belgium’s regional government of Wallonia has opposed the CETA agreement which has led to a process of disruption of the negotiations. It is important that this and other disruptions prevail, with a view to blocking the ratification of CETA.

EU trade ministers decided to postpone their decision regarding the CETA agreement which is scheduled for ratification later this month. In addition to Belgium, Romania and Bulgaria as well as other member states have expressed reservations.

According to Deutsche Welle:

CETA Handelsrat Luxemburg Demo von Greenpeace (DW/B. Riegert)

“While a number of countries had voiced their concern with regard to the controversial agreement, Slovakian trade minister Peter Ziga said that in the end it was Belgium reservations which put a halt to the process. Slovakia currently chairs the EU.

Ziga added that he remained confident the deal with Canada could still be signed by October 27 during the EU-Canada summit – as was originally planned:

“I can’t really imagine that Belgium will be the final stumbling stone,” Ziga said, referring to the country’s close linguistic ties with Canada.

Observers expect, however, for details to be hashed out during the upcoming EU summit later this week. Leaders from across the bloc are due to meet in Brussels on October 20 and 21 for the annual summit, which will focus on trade policy.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström also said that she was hopeful that CETA could be signed in time.”

It is crucial that these trade negotiations be disrupted and stalled.  Across the EU and Canada, let us firmly oppose the ratification of this agreement.


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About the author:

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal, Editor of Global Research.  He has taught as visiting professor in Western Europe, Southeast Asia, the Pacific and Latin America. He has served as economic adviser to governments of developing countries and has acted as a consultant for several international organizations. He is the author of eleven books including The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003), America’s “War on Terrorism” (2005), The Global Economic Crisis, The Great Depression of the Twenty-first Century (2009) (Editor), Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (2011), The Globalization of War, America's Long War against Humanity (2015). He is a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.  His writings have been published in more than twenty languages. In 2014, he was awarded the Gold Medal for Merit of the Republic of Serbia for his writings on NATO's war of aggression against Yugoslavia. He can be reached at [email protected]

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