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EU Employment and Social Affairs Committee votes to reject CETA – Boylan

8 December, 2016 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Speaking this morning in the aftermath of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee vote to reject CETA, Sinn Fein MEP Lynn Boylan called it a victory for intelligent trade, common sense, and democracy.

 MEP Boylan said:

 “The vote this morning in the EMPL Committee has shown that there is widespread opposition to this trade deal across the EU. Those MEPs who voted this morning to call on the Committee on International Trade, as the committee responsible, to recommend that Parliament decline to give its consent to the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion of CETA came from across the EU and from across the political spectrum.

 “The vote proves that there is widespread discontent and opposition to CETA from the left, the right, and the centre in the European Parliament.

 “This vote and opposition to CETA is not about being anti-trade, it is about supporting intelligent-trade, trade that benefits Ireland and the EU. Trading relationships should always be intelligent and they must be based on must be decent job creation, balanced wage increases, expanded opportunities for SMEs and foster entrepreneurship.

 “Yet, the empirical evidence showed that CETA did none of this. Evidence based on real-world models indicates at best marginal overall increases for EU employment of no more than 0.018% over a 6 to 10 year implementation period. Furthermore, recent studies using such models have forecast actual job losses of 204 000 for the EU as a whole, including significant economic sectorial losses and dislocations in Ireland, not least the beef industry.

 “In relation to wages, CETA is not the rising tide that will lift all boats; evidence in this regard shows that the agreement would contribute to widening the incomes gap between unskilled and skilled workers thus increasing inequalities and social tensions.

 “Furthermore, the CETA agreement will do nothing to support SMEs. It contains not a single chapter with specific measures to support SMEs. There are currently 20.9 million EU SMEs with only 619 000 exporting outside the EU. CETA will expose these SMEs to competition from large North American transnational corporations thus endangering the 90 million jobs that they are providing.

“Therefore, what is the purpose of CETA? CETA is a corporate trade agreement that places the rights of transnational corporations and profits ahead of people. The undemocratic and privileged status accorded to investors through the Investor Court System where transnational corporations can sue governments for measures that lead to a loss of profit is stark evidence of this fact. 

 “People power can still defeat CETA and similar unintelligent trade agreements; therefore it is imperative that people call on their local politicians, MEPs, TDs, Senators, and Councillors and encourage them to see sense and actively campaign against this trade deal.”

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