Saturday, October 22, 2016

Commerce : what is the future for the AACC after the failure of negotiations between Canadian and Walloons ? – The World

” The ball is in the camp of Europe “, said Saturday the minister of canadian trade. She hoped that the free trade agreement will be signed, as scheduled, on 27 October.

A sign against the treaty aloft during a demonstration in front of the european Parliament, in Brussels, on September 20.

the future of The free trade treaty between the european Union (EU) and Canada is outstanding. The negotiations of the last chance had failed between Wallonia, the francophone region of Belgium, hostile to the agreement in the state, and Ottawa, disappointed by the delay of the european. The signing of this treaty by the 28 countries of the EU and Canada was theoretically scheduled for 27 October in Brussels.

Read also : Agreement CETA : “we can not say “this treaty is perfect, you have the choice between yes and yes ‘”

  • what is this treaty ?

The CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement or comprehensive economic and trade agreement) is a trade agreement, ” new-generation “. This means that it will not only reduce tariffs between the EU and Canada. The objective is also to lead to a convergence of certain standards to limit what free traders call “non-tariff barriers” to trade. The ambition is to reduce from 36% to 3 % the share of european exports subject to such barriers.

This treaty contains, in particular, agreements concerning the rights, customs, public procurement, labour mobility, the environment, or agriculture.

Read also : understanding the AACC, the “petit-cousin” of the transatlantic treaty

  • Why Wallonia does it not ?

The Wallonia, French-speaking region of southern Belgium, is hostile to this agreement in the state and blocks the whole of the negotiations between the european Union and Canada. Wallonia (3.6 million people), calls for greater safeguards, particularly regarding the protection of its farmers and stand up to powerful multinationals.

This region also sees the AACC, which affects more than 500 million Europeans, the beginnings of the TTIP (or Tafta). This treaty, even more controversial, is negotiated very painstakingly by the EU with the United States.

Read also : AACC : Wallonia rejects the time that his partners wanted to impose

  • What happened on Friday ?

Friday, 21 October, the surprise came from the Canadians. Asked by chrystia Freeland, international trade minister of Canada, was this week in Namur, capital of Wallonia, to try to resolve the latest dispute.

At the end of this visit, Friday night, she left in tears the seat of the walloon government and released ” the end and the failure “ of the negotiations on the draft treaty.

” It seems obvious to me, to Canada, the european Union is not able now to have an international agreement, even with a country that has values, also european in Canada. “

Read also : The AACC in the stalemate after the failure of negotiations between Canadian and Walloon

  • agreement reste-t-il possible ?

Saturday, Mme Freeland has called the european Union ” to finish its job “, recalling that his country was ready to sign an agreement. the ” Canada has done its job, the ball is in the camp of Europe “, she said in English and in French at the end of a meeting with Martin Schulz, president of the european Parliament.

” We are ready to sign the AACC and we continue to hope that it will be possible to sign the CETA on the 27th of October “, said with insistence Mme Freeland. She said that she was leaving Belgium on Saturday morning to join Toronto.

” I really hope that the Europeans will achieve success and that I will be able to come back here in a few days with my Prime minister [Justin Trudeau] to sign the agreement. “

Read also : Agreement CETA : “we can not say “this treaty is perfect, you have the choice between yes and yes ‘”

Mr Schulz said that the summit planned for Thursday with Canada remained in the program. the ” The issues are on the table of Europeans, and we must try to resolve, he said. in This meeting has been very constructive, and may be decisive. I remain optimistic. “ He spoke alternately in English, French and German. Mr. Schulz should talk with Paul Magnette, the head of the government of Wallonia.

both belong to the same political family, the first being the social democrat and the second a member of the socialist Party of belgium. In an interview Friday evening, Mr. Magnette regretted ” interrupt “ of the negotiations ; he argued that an agreement is always possible and that the european Commission should take the initiative on this folder.

” I explained that to the democracy, it takes time. “

  • And if the agreement is signed ?

The european Parliament has no mandate to negotiate trade treaties of the EU, because it is the responsibility of the european Commission, the eu executive. It should, however, give the green light at the end of the process.

If the agreement is signed as scheduled on 27 October in Brussels between Twenty-Eight and Canada, the members of the european parliament will therefore have to pronounce on the text, which should take place either at the end of the year or early next year. And as the AACC reaches out to both to the competences of the EU and those of member States, the ratification will not be completed until after the approval of national and regional Parliaments of the EU (including the national Assembly and the Senate in France).


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