France and Germany call for Canada trade agreement review

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

France and Germany call for Canada trade agreement review

Related tags International trade European union

France and Germany are looking to make changes to the free trade agreement of the EU and Canada, despite the EU/US TTIP talks being the focus for most member states.

The Comprehensive Trade and Economic Agreement (CETA) is a freshly negotiated EU-Canada treaty, concluded in October 2013 and set to begin in the first semester of 2015, to offer EU firms more and better business opportunities in Canada and support jobs in Europe.

The goal of the deal is to remove customs duties, end limitations in access to public contracts, open-up services' market, offer predictable conditions for investors and help to prevent illegal copying of EU innovations and traditional products.

Ministers in Paris and Berlin are specifically calling for the agreement’s investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clause to be reviewed to protect investments by allowing recourse to arbitration tribunals in the case of conflicts between private companies and states.

Review

This request comes after the Commission published the results of a public consultation over the inclusion of the ISDS in the EU-US trade deal currently under negotiation, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). 

Market analysts say that France and Germany are breaking new ground in asking for the negotiations with Canada to be reopened.

Political publication, Euractiv reported the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs to welcome the call for a review;"What is important is that the Germans are for the first time accepting the link between the arbitration clauses in CETA and TTIP", ​it stated.

TTIP talks

The most recent developments of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations seen the European Commission, publish new legal texts for the first time that set out EU proposals it is negotiating with the US.

This included a new cosmetics factsheet announcing plans for regulators to work more closely together.

The Commission claims that TTIP could benefit consumers and industry by enabling regulators to work even more closely with each other; on things like checking the safety of new, better products, so consumers can buy them sooner than at present.

In the cosmetics part of the agreement, the EC has announced it wants to agree to work more closely on scientific safety assessments and on alternative methods to animal testing, pushing for the progressive phase-out of animal tests worldwide.

The new factsheet also highlights the desire to improve technical cooperation between regulators to facilitate US approval of UV filters already authorised in the EU, and to work together on labelling using international practices.

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