"Final Death Blow" to Canada-EU Trade Deal as Delegates Hold Firm Against It
by Gaius Publius
In our coverage recently of the European mass protests against the so-called "free trade" agreement TTIP, and its demise, you may have noticed another trade deal mentioned alongside it, something called CETA, the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement. CETA is a "trade" deal being negotiated between Canada and the European Union. As you can see from the image above, those mass protests in Europe targeted both deals, not just the one (TTIP) involving the U.S. Even though it doesn't involve us, doesn't mean the Europeans are any more in favor of it. They're not.
As you know if you clicked the first link above, TTIP is basically dead. TTIP is one of the three cornerstone corporate-friendly deals the U.S. corporate elite is using their well-funded office-holders to enact, the other two being TPP (the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal) and TiSA, the Trade in Services Agreement, which is actually the real killer. (TiSA, for example, would force the fast-tracking of imported non-union, very-low-wage foreign labor. Picture, if you will, the rapid demise of construction unions under TiSA.)
The death of CETA, if it holds, strikes another blow at the heart of the pro-corporate globalist project. This means that of three "trade" deals the Europeans are involved in, two have been killed. This leaves only TiSA, and while that one is much less further along, it's looking more and more possible that the Europeans will do us a favor and kill it too — leaving only TPP standing. Regarding TPP, we may be on our own.
From Lauren McCauley at Common Dreams on CETA:
'Final Death Blow' to CETA as Delegates Hold Firm Against Pro-Corporate DealSeems even with a Canadian "trade" deal, the problem the Europeans have is what it allows U.S. companies to do. Still, the obviously pro-corporate Canadian negotiators tried to push it through. And when they failed, they blamed the Europeans for not being "capable" of "having an international treaty."
"It's time for a fundamental shift toward international agreements that put people and the planet before corporate profits. That's the message from Europe today."
Dealing what campaigners say is the final "death blow" to the pro-corporate Canada-European Union trade deal, negotiations collapsed on Friday after representatives from the Belgian region of Wallonia refused to agree to a deal that continues ignore democracy in favor of multi-national corporations.
Canada's International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland reportedly walked out of talks with the Wallonia delegation, which had ruled to maintain their veto against the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) after the parties reached a stalemate over the controversial Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system.
"We made new significant progress, especially on the agriculture issues, but difficulties remain, specifically on the symbolic issue of arbitration, which is politically extremely important," Wallonia president Paul Magnette told the regional parliament. ISDS permits companies to sue governments over perceived loss of profits due to regulations or other laws.
Magnette had told reporters Thursday that the delegation had particular concerns over "matters affecting U.S. companies in Canada which will benefit from the system."
Friday's talks were held as a last-ditch effort to save the trade deal. After they fell apart, an emotional Freeland told reporters, "I've worked very, very hard, but I think it's impossible," referring to the impasse. "It's become evident for me, for Canada, that the European Union isn't capable now to have an international treaty even with a country that has very European values like Canada."There's more in the article about the deep and widespread objection across Western Europe to each of these deals. All good news.
Next to Fall: TPP and NAFTA?
Assuming the deals involving the Europeans fail, there's only two more to go — NAFTA and TPP — and both have Withdrawal clauses. Clinton in 2008 promised to renegotiate NAFTA using the threat of withdrawal.
If she was sincere, the same would apply to TPP, which she has recently announced she opposes. I'll be interested to see how all this plays out. At the moment, though, the citizens appear to be winning.