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Campaign against dangerous Canadian CETA agreement continues despite setback - Carthy

24 January, 2017 - by Matt Carthy MEP

The campaign against the dangerous and regressive EU-Canadian trade deal, known as CETA, must continue and intensify following a setback in the European Parliament today, Tuesday. So said Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy after the parliament’s International Trade committee (INTA) approved CETA (Comprehensive Economic & Trade agreement) by 25 votes to 15 against with 1 abstention.

MEP Carthy said:

“The members of INTA have, by majority, approved CETA despite all the evidence presented by the widest possible range of expert opinion including a resolution from the European Parliament’s own Employment and Social Affairs committee recommending that they reject it.

“While this was an important and disappointing stage in the ratification process the battle against this dangerous deal will be reaching a crucial point when all MEPs will vote on CETA at the February plenary in Strasbourg.

“Ironically the INTA vote comes in the same week as European agriculture ministers discussed the findings of the European commission’s report on the cumulative effects of trade agreements which confirmed last November that there would be a steep drop in beef prices of around 16% as a result of the EU’s planned trade agreements.

“With TTIP hanging in the balance because of the new administration in the US, the Commission has been particularly bullish in pushing through CETA, which includes all of the negative provisions as TTIP itself. Controversially at the heart of CETA is the inclusion of the Investment Court System which will allow corporations to sue governments for enacting legislation that may impact on profits.

“The commission’s strategy to railroad CETA has been based on a complete lack of transparency, the bullying of national & regional Governments, the misrepresentation and ignoring of its own research data and a denial of a democratic legislative process whenever possible.

“The list of organisations, lawyers, activists and citizens who have come out against the deal at this stage is longer and their arguments stronger than those of the protagonists. Nevertheless the Commission, and the Irish government, have sided with corporations under their continued fake mantra of “trade equals jobs” as if CETA was a traditional free trade deal when clearly it is not.

“I and my Sinn Féin colleagues will continue to work with likeminded MEPs and civic society against the most dangerous elements of this deal, including the controversial investment protection chapter. We will also keep pressure on our own Government and Fine Gael representatives to back down from their perilous position on this and other trade deals.

“But we also need representative organisations in Ireland to up their campaign work. Farmer bodies, trade unions, environmental groups and others must intensify their efforts to call on MEPs to vote against CETA when it comes before plenary.

“The vote in INTA was a setback but the campaign against this dangerous trade agreement, that is clearly not in Ireland’s interests, continues.”

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