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EU Provides Update On Ongoing Free Trade Talks

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

26 January 2017

The European Parliament has provided an update on the trade agreements under negotiation by the EU.

Parliament's International Trade Committee on January 24 voted in favor of the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada. Parliament as a whole is expected to vote on the deal in next month's plenary session.

In an update, Parliament said that CETA "is far from the only deal the EU is working with." It explained that negotiations have been concluded in a number of cases, with talks finalized with Ecuador, Singapore, Vietnam, West Africa, and the East African Community. These agreements have yet to enter into force.

In Asia, negotiations with Malaysia are "about halfway, but most difficult issues remain to be resolved." Four negotiation rounds have been held with both Thailand and Myanmar, but no new rounds have been scheduled in either case. A negotiation round with Indonesia is taking place currently, and the next round with the Philippines will take place in February. There is a possibility that the agreement with Japan could be concluded in early 2017, Parliament said.

A second negotiation round for an agreement with Mexico will be held in early April, and separate talks will take place in Buenos Aires in March.

The update noted that the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the US has "proved very controversial due to concerns over product standards and the resolution of investment disputes." It explained that there have been 15 rounds of negotiations since July 2013, with the latest round taking place in October 2016.

TAGS: investment | free trade agreement (FTA) | export duty | tariffs | trade treaty | investment treaty | Ecuador | Mexico | Philippines | Singapore | Thailand | agreements | Canada | Indonesia | Malaysia | import duty | standards | trade | European Union (EU) | Japan | Vietnam | Investment | Europe | Invest | Africa | Investment

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