European Parliament Committee Backs EU-Canada Trade Deal

The EU-Canada free trade agreement (CETA), considered by many observers as the most advanced and comprehensive free trade agreement in recent history, has received the supprt of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee.

“Today’s vote on the EU-Canada Free Trade Agreement (CETA) in the Environment Committee has a showed that the pro-trade coalition in the European Parliament is on a solid footing,” the Danish Shipowners’ Association said.

While the Rapporteur Bart Staes (Greens EFA, Belgium) has opposed any support for CETA, a wide coalition of the four party groups – EPP, ECR, ALDE and S&D has maintained that CETA is “the most modern and progressive trade agreement the EU has ever negotiated and voted to support to agreement.”

“Discussions in the European Parliament have been very intense, especially on the environmental chapter where the criticism has been largely unfounded. In our opinion, CETA will not only secure that we uphold high European standards, but also show continued commitment to a constructive and mutually beneficiating trade policy between two large trading partners,” Simon C. Bergulf, Director EU Affairs for the Danish Shipowners’ Association, said.

“Specifically, the Danish Shipowners are pleased with the ambitious maritime chapter included in the agreement. This will open new opportunities for Danish export companies in Canada,” Bergulf added.

The agreement will now have to be adopted in the International Trade committee (INTA) on the January 24. A final vote at the plenary is expected in February.

If endorsed, CETA can be provisionally applied, with some of the contentious elements, including the investment court system, to enter into force only once all Member States finish their ratification process.

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