EU and Canada sign doomed CETA trade deal

The EU and Canada will today sign a controversial trade and investment protection agreement that could soon be consigned to the dustbin of history, warned Greenpeace.

Greenpeace EU trade policy adviser Shira Stanton said: “It will take a lot more than a symbolic handshake and a photo op to impose CETA on Europeans. The cat is out of the bag – Canadian prime minister Trudeau and European governments know that CETA has been seriously wounded now that its true purpose has come to light. This agreement will probably not survive the democratic and legal scrutiny of the ratification process over the coming months. It’s time for our governments to break rank with corporate lobbyists and redesign a trade policy that respects democracy and promotes the public interest.”

CETA – the EU-Canada agreement on investor rights, regulatory cooperation, and trade – will soon face a vote in the European Parliament and then ratification by the parliaments of all 28 EU countries. The legality of a controversial system that allows multinational corporations to sue states under CETA – known as the Investment Court System or ICS – will also be the subject of a ruling by the European Court of Justice, and by the German constitutional court. Failure to stand up to this legal scrutiny will cause the annulment of CETA.

A legal analysis commissioned by Greenpeace shows that ICS also fails to comply with the political demands of the European Parliament.

CETA’s primary aim is not to eliminate trade tariff barriers, but to remove any obstacles to trade due to differences in laws and regulations between the EU and Canada. This will result in an assault on public protection measures, threatening the right for governments to regulate to safeguard public health, the environment or social rights, said Greenpeace.

An independent study found that CETA could cause the loss of 200,000 jobs across the EU, while the European Commission’s (pdf) own assessment predicted a tiny impact on GDP: a 0.02 to 0.03 per cent long-term GDP increase for the EU, and a 0.18 to 0.36 per cent increase for Canada.

Note: CETA spin unspun – a myth busting Q&A on the EU-Canada trade deal.


Shira Stanton – Greenpeace EU trade policy adviser: +32 (0)477 790 415,

Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 274 1911,

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