European Parliament’s Trade Committee Clears CETA

26.01.2017 -

The European Parliament’s International Trade Committee gave its approval to the proposed EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) on Jan 24. The draft recommendation was passed by 25 votes to 15 with one abstention. Rapporteur for the CETA agreement, Artis Pabriks, said the approval was a significant step forward. “Ratifying this agreement with Canada will enable trade to continue to bring wealth to both shores of our transatlantic friendship,” he commented.

The approval follows a letter earlier this month from the European Chemical Industry Council, CEFIC, and the Alliance for a Competitive European Industry (ACEI) urging Parliament to endorse the trade deal. The European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee also announced its backing for CETA on Jan. 12.

Parliament is to vote on the deal at its next plenary session, which is being held on Feb. 13-16 in Strasbourg, France. If CETA is approved, it could apply provisionally from as early as April 2017. However, it will also need to be ratified by national and regional parliaments.

The EU is Canada’s most important trading partner, while the North American country ranks twelfth among the EU’s trading partners. In 2015, the EU imported goods from Canada worth €28.3 billion and exported goods worth €35.2 billion, a figure that is expected to rise by more than 20% when the agreement is implemented in full.