Trudeau to sign CETA on Sunday, but the deal is still “a ticking time bomb”

Trudeau to sign CETA on Sunday, but the deal is still “a ticking time bomb”

Date: 29 October 2016

Responding to the news that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was to sign the controversial trade deal between Canada and the EU (CETA) on Sunday, Nick Dearden, the director of Global Justice Now said:

“The signing ceremony on Sunday means that CETA has been brought back from the dead for now – but it is a ticking time bomb. The Wallonia parliament has a promise that they will be able to stop the ratification of CETA when they get a formal vote on it, and unless there are substantial changes, they – and hopefully other parliaments – will use that veto. What’s more, the whole ‘corporate court’ concept will now go to the highest European court to adjudicate on its legality – something which risks invalidating the EU’s entire trade agenda.”

“CETA would open up our government to a deluge of court cases by North American multinational corporations and investors. It presents a threat to our ability to protect the environment, to protect the public and to limit the power of big banks. It’s thoroughly undemocratic and must be stopped.
“Particularly incredible is that the British government – which says it wants to reclaim powers from the EU – is actually trying to implement this deal before a vote, or even debate, in Westminster has taken place”

On Friday in London, protesters dressed as zombies posed outside the European Commission office in London with a banner saying “Stop CETA rising from the dead – Toxic trade deals belong in the grave.” Photos from the zombie CETA protest can be found here.

Critics have argued that:

  • CETA contains a ‘Regulatory Cooperation’ chapter which threatens to hand multinationals a greater role in the formulation of making laws, and sparking a race to the bottom in standards for important areas like food safety and environmental regulation.
  • CETA will make it more difficult for governments to regulate the banking sector to prevent the sort of financial crises experienced  in 2008
  • CETA negotiations have already laid the basis for tar sands oil – one of the world’s most environmentally destructive fossil fuels – to flow into Europe. If CETA comes into effect, the import and production of this toxic fuel will increase, devastating the environment.
  • CETA’s locks in privatisation and deregulation at current levels  for a wide range of services.

Read the Global Justice Now briefing on CETA