Trade Justice Network

Trade Justice Network
Quebec Network on Continental Integration

Quebec Network on Continental Integration

July 15, 2011 09:36 ET

Time to Open up the Canada-EU Free Trade Deal, Say Canadian and Quebec Groups in Europe Following 8th Round of Negotiations

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM--(Marketwire - July 15, 2011) - Members of the Trade Justice Network and Reseau quebecois sur l'integration continentale, in Europe this week to monitor the 8th round of Canada-EU free trade negotiations, remain highly concerned the proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will hurt Canadian jobs and public services.

These groups say the negotiations have not advanced as quickly as the Harper government expected because of growing concerns in Europe about the threats CETA presents to economic, environmental and social policies.

While in Brussels, London and Paris this week, the Canadian and Quebec networks met with European parliamentarians, as well as representatives from labour unions, environmental, cultural, farming and community groups from several EU member states, all of whom are paying close attention to these negotiations.

At the very moment European governments are trying to keep the Eurozone from disintegrating, the two networks question why Canada and the EU are choosing to entrench the free-market policies that led to the current crisis in the first place.

Studies in Canada show CETA could result in between 28,000 and 150,000 lost jobs, would increase drug costs by $2.8 billion, and threaten local purchasing policies in municipalities and utilities.

CETA, through its investment, services and procurement chapters, is designed to encourage the privatization of public services, and to dissuade governments from doing anything serious to address climate change, say the networks. The current economic, social and environmental crises demand new answers and policies which CETA makes impossible.

The Trade Justice Network and Reseau quebecois sur l'integration continentale are repeating their call for transparency and a full public discussion in Canada and the EU on CETA. Canadians and Europeans have the right to a say in their economic futures.

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