Reacting to today’s near collapse in talks to agree on CETA, the proposed EU-Canada trade deal, Paul de Clerck, Economic Justice programme coordinator at Friends of the Earth Europe said: “Today’s failure to finalise the agreement shows how controversial this deal is. The plug should be permanently pulled on both CETA and its US counterpart, TTIP.”
Wallonia, the Belgian region which took the lead in opposing CETA, raised concerns about how the trade deal would give power to foreign investors to sue governments for decisions that protect citizens or the environment. Friends of the Earth Europe congratulates Wallonia for standing up for citizens, the environment and democracy.
Paul de Clerck continued: “The EU and its national governments now have a once-in-a-generation chance to capitalise on the massive public interest in trade policy, and listen to the public’s demands for the type of trade they want to see. Putting people and the planet before corporate interests will help us develop a more sustainable and equitable world, as the world’s biggest trading bloc the EU needs to stand up and lead this debate.”
Friends of the Earth Europe is calling for a new EU trade policy that addresses today’s global emergencies such as cutting inequalities, eliminating tax evasion, halting the collapse of biodiversity and preventing climate change. It also calls for trade policy to strengthen democracies by ensuring public safeguards and laws are agreed openly and away from the hands of trade negotiators and big business, as well as allowing other regions in the world to develop sustainably and fairly.