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Canada, Germany Seek Resolution Of Remaining CETA Issues

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

23 September 2016

Canada and Germany have voiced support for work to clearly identify the outstanding issues holding back the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

The commitment was made in a joint statement issued by Canada's International Trade Minister, Chrystia Freeland, and Germany's Minister for Economic Affairs, Sigmar Gabriel.

The ministers acknowledged that there remains "intense public debate" over a number of CETA's provisions. They said they had "a detailed discussion to achieve a common understanding on how to address these issues during the ongoing process before CETA enters into force."

They noted in particular the concerns raised by the German Trade Union Federation and the Canadian Labour Congress as to investment protection, workers' rights, public services, public procurement, and the precautionary principle.

The statement stressed that CETA's provisions on investment protection offer ground-breaking improvements, with the introduction of an investment court based on the rule of law. It added that the ministers will support efforts to assess whether further improvements are needed to the dispute resolution provisions, and said they would appreciate clarifications as to the full scope of the provisions on public procurement.

The ministers described CETA as "a huge achievement, providing for a modern and ambitious free trade agreement." They added that CETA will improve free and fair trade between the EU and Canada, while simultaneously ensuring a high level of protection for consumers, workers, and the environment.

The aim remains to sign CETA in October.

TAGS: court | environment | investment | free trade agreement (FTA) | law | trade treaty | agreements | Canada | Germany | Trade Union | trade | European Union (EU) | services | Europe

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