“This trade agreement is an historic win for Canada,” said Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Friday in Brussels, after announcing that Canada had a trade agreement in principle with the European Union. “It represents thousands of new jobs for Canadians, and a half-billion new customers for Canadian businesses.”
According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s office, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will provide “preferential market access to the EU’s more than 500 million consumers and to its annual $17 trillion in economic activity.”
But critics worry about the impact on a wide variety of Canadian industries and such activities as Canadian dairy farming. Others are concerned that the agreement will give French companies Suez and Veolia access to run water services for profit in Canada.
According to Canada’s Green Party Leader Elizabeth May “a central element of the CETA consists of an anti-democratic Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism, allowing foreign corporations to sue Canada and challenge democratically-passed Canadian laws that impede their profits.”
RCI’s Wojtek Gwiazda has a report.
Canadian government’s summary of CETA benefits – here
Globe and Mail – Canada, EU unveil ‘historic’ free-trade agreement – here
Globe and Mail – Ottawa will step in to cushion blow of extra costs from EU deal, Ontario says – here
Official Opposition NDP trade critic statement on CETA – here
Green Party opposes anti-democratic elements of CETA – info – here
rabble.ca – Canada-EU deal threatens Canada’s water – here