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Europe’s biggest trade agreement reaches its most crucial point

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The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement mostly referred to as CETA, along with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TTIP, are proposed trade agreements between the European Union and Canada and the United States respectively, with the aim of promoting trade and multilateral economic growth. This year they “celebrated”  the third anniversary of designing the agreements. The process has been mostly marked by strong resistance by the people. Austria, Belgium, Germany and France have had the biggest anti-CETA/TTIP movements. So far over three million people have signed petitions opposing TTIP and CETA.

The pressure is rising also in the political ranks, especially with the upcoming new summit with Canada on the 27th of October. Feeling the pressure of the “streets”, different countries have become more critical of the trade agreements and have demanded clarification regarding public procurement markets, labour and environmental standards. After numerous NGOs and environmental groups demanded a survey on the accountability of TTIP/ CETA, the European Commission recommended that Common Agricultural Policy monitor the agreements. The Independent quoted Slovakia's economics minister, Peter Ziga. "A conclusion of the TTIP negotiations by the end of the year is unrealistic. Another important element will be the upcoming presidential elections in the USA. Any agreement, including TTIP, has to be balanced and beneficial for the EU.”

Regarding TTIP, the Americans wanted to conclude the deal before Obama leaves office. The European Commission required a survey of the fallout of all the EU trade deals in the agricultural sector.  But with 28 state members, it is already certain that the results won’t be known before the end of October, which means a delay until the end of the current US presidential term.




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