EU: Clearing the way for a trade deal with Canada

EU: Clearing the way for a trade deal with Canada

The federal government and the European Union Commission have paved the way for the controversial trade deal with Canada to be fully implemented soon. On Monday, officials in Brussels and the federal Ministry of Economics announced that they were planning a Additional declaration agreed which clarifies sensitive points of interest to Berlin. It is a prerequisite for the federal government to ratify the agreement, which is abbreviated to SITA. The treaty, which eliminates customs duties and simplifies transactions, has been in effect since 2017, but only temporarily and incompletely because eleven EU countries, including Germany, have so far refused to ratify it.

In Brussels it is expected that after Berlin changes direction, another ten governments will follow suit. The supplementary declaration is a guide to interpreting the contract. Its purpose is to prevent investors from suing for damages in the controversial arbitration courts provided by CETA if governments undermine the business prospects of companies with climate and environmental protection laws or health policy. In particular, the terms “indirect ownership” and “fair and equitable treatment” have been defined more precisely. Opponents of Ceta fear that arbitration tribunals would give too much power to corporations and undermine parliaments. The clarification was a prerequisite for the Greens to agree to ratification in the Traffic Light Coalition.

The next step is for other EU governments to give their place on the Supplementary Declaration. The EU Commission can then submit this interpretation aid to the Government of Canada. The so-called Joint Sita Committee, a governing body for the implementation of the treaty, must accept the declaration.

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