Some updates on CETA
1) Rumblings from Ottawa
There have been stories coming out of Ottawa saying the CETA trade deal is in trouble.
First, there is this from Paul Wells:
which basically says the following:
- there has been a lot of bad press for the deal (#1 – adding $2.8 billion to drug costs)
- there is no federal government champion for the deal
- the provinces seem to be uninterested (and Europe wants concessions from them)
- pro-business lobby groups seem to be uninterested
- Europe has said publicly that it would rather scrap the deal than sign a narrow, watered-down deal (as it would set a bad precedent)
- An influential lobby group – the automotive sector – has recently come out in favour of scrapping the CETA negotiations
Further to this last point, here’s a CTV News report:
“A high-powered group of auto executives is pushing Ottawa to halt free-trade talks with South Korea and the European Union and to offer incentives for an industry threatened by the rising dollar and growing competition from lower-cost markets.
The auto executives, including Magna International Inc. chief executive officer Don Walker and the CEOs of the five auto makers with assembly plants in Canada, will meet Friday with Industry Minister Tony Clement to make their case for further government support for upgrades to plants as new automotive investment floods into low-cost Mexico and such emerging markets as China, Brazil and India.
Their concerns form the basis of a 35-page report by a working group of the Canadian Automotive Partnership Council (CAPC), which includes the CEOs of the five vehicle companies that have assembly plants in Canada, Canadian Auto Workers president Ken Lewenza; Sandra Pupatello, Ontario’s Economic Development Minister and her counterpart from Quebec, Clément Gignac. A copy of the report, which will be presented to Mr. Clement, was obtained by The Globe and Mail.”
Also, there is this article in the Globe and Mail:
“Canada has threatened to scrap a trade deal with the European Union if the EU persists with plans that would block imports of Canada’s highly polluting tar sands, according to EU documents and sources.”
The Oil Sands are a big issue in Alberta, which is the heartland for the Conservative government.
2) Status of India/EU negotiations.
Apparently, the EU has resumed putting pressure on India in respect of patents, pharmaceuticals and generics, mostly over data protection. Medecins Sans Frontieres seems to be leading the charge in opposition.
Also, a UN rapporteur on the right to health also has concerns about the EU/India deal