Understanding the Canada-EU Trade Agreement

Understanding the Canada-EU Trade Agreement

Postby Oscar » Sun Mar 21, 2010 4:40 pm

European Greens, United Left take aim at Canada-EU trade agreement

Thursday, March 18th, 2010 – Stuart Trew

http://www.canadians.org/tradeblog/

While Canadians sit around in the dark on Harper’s free trade talks with Europe, European parliamentarians are grilling our government on the draft agreement’s investment, procurement and services chapters. Yesterday afternoon, the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee heard from Ross Hornby, Canada’s ambassador to the EU, about the state of negotiations toward a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

Following his presentation, members of the Greens and European United Left–Nordic Green Left had some tough questions for both parties, including:

Why was the EU Commission considering a NAFTA-style investor-state dispute process and has it studied the effects of NAFTA’s Chapter 11? Why is the EU Commission trying to dismantle Ontario’s Green Energy Act? Why do the negotiations have the support only of large corporations on both sides of the Atlantic? And, notably, what does the Canadian Ambassador think of Canadian labour and civil society concerns with how the agreement could encourage privatization of public services?

If it seems like these European politicians know more about CETA than our MPs, guess what — they do. The EU trade committee has apparently seen a draft text. So what’s Harper’s excuse for keeping it locked up? Probably, he doesn’t want its controversial aspects coming to light as they did, even for a brief moment, yesterday in Brussels.

Read more…

MORE INFORMATION ON THE CANADA-EU FREE TRADE NEGOTIATIONS:

Open Civil Society Declaration:

On a proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union.

http://www.canadians.org/trade/issues/E ... ation.html

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Council of Canadians webpage on CETA:

http://www.canadians.org/trade/issues/EU/index.html


Stuart Trew
Trade Campaigner
Council of Canadians

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EU wants all-access pass to Canadian procurement

http://embassymag.ca/page/view/eu-02-10-2010

Confidential European briefing notes show a desire to bid on contracts with utilities, port and airport authorities.

By Laura Payton Published February 10, 2010

European Union negotiators want access to procurement competitions in an extensive list of Canadian cities, utilities and Crown corporations in a market they estimate is worth $86 billion, according to confidential EU briefing notes provided to Embassy.

The documents, including the EU's "initial market access request to Canada," dated December 2009, detail some of what the trading bloc is seeking in opening up bilateral trade, investment and labour mobility. And when it comes to government procurement, they want it all.

"All central government entities and all other central public entities," should be open to contracting European goods and services, the request says, pointing to the federal level.

At the provincial and territorial level, the request is similar: "All sub-central government entities including those operating at the local, regional or municipal level."

That includes, for example, opening up bidding for goods and services for the Prime Minister's Office, the House of Commons, the Senate, Elections Canada, the Library of Parliament and Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada. Two of the government's biggest buyers, Public Works and Government Services Canada and Transport Canada, are also on the list.

MORE: http://embassymag.ca/page/view/eu-02-10-2010

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Europe the Trade Bully - Leaked draft of intellectual property deal targets entire Canadian economy.

http://thetyee.ca/Mediacheck/2009/12/23 ... Agreement/

By Michael Geist, 23 December 2009, TheTyee.ca

At stake: sweeping changes to Canadian law.

More than 20 years ago, Canada negotiated a free trade agreement with the United States that attracted enormous public attention. The first FTA -- to be followed a few years later by the North American Free Trade Agreement that brought Mexico into the mix -- played a pivotal role in a national election and ultimately resulted in dramatic changes to the economy and Canadian law.

Earlier this year, Canada and the European Union announced plans to negotiate a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), possibly the biggest Canadian trade negotiations since NAFTA. The first round of talks took place in Ottawa in October, yet the treaty has generated practically no public scrutiny.

That may change following the leak last week of the European Union's proposed intellectual property chapter.

Simply put, the EU demands target the entire Canadian economy. They include increased patent protection for pharmaceutical companies, heightened support for famous trademarks, and new rules for industrial designs. The EU is also keen on restrictions on the use of geographic indications, which would limit the ability of Canadian wine and cheese makers to use such words as champagne or parmesan.

What the EU wants

The EU has emphasized its desire that Canada comply with a series of treaties that have not been signed or ratified. Demands focus on Canadian accession to The Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs, implementation of the World Intellectual Property Organization Internet treaties, and compliance with both the Trademark Law Treaty and the Patent Law Treaty.

The EU draft indicates the treaty would also dramatically reshape Canadian copyright law. Indeed, when combined with the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (the other ongoing secret negotiation), the two agreements would render Canadian copyright law virtually unrecognizable. The notion of a "made-in-Canada" approach promoted by Industry Minister Tony Clement --already under threat from ACTA -- would be lost entirely, replaced by a made-in-Washington-and-Brussels law.

The leaked document includes the following demands:

Copyright term extension. The current term of copyright protection in Canada is life of the author plus 50 years. This is consistent with the term requirements under the international law. The EU is demanding that Canada add an additional 20 years by making the term life plus 70 years.

Digital lock provisions. The EU is demanding that Canada implement digital lock provisions that include a ban on the distribution of circumvention devices. There is no such requirement in the WIPO Internet treaties.

Enforcement provisions. The EU is demanding that Canada establish a host of new enforcement provisions including measures to preserve evidence, ordering alleged infringers to disclose information on a wide range of issues, mandating disclosure of banking information in commercial infringement cases, as well as allowing for injunctive relief and destruction of goods. There is also a full section on new border measures requirements.

Resale rights. The EU is demanding that Canada implement a new resale right that would provide artists with a royalty based on any resales of their works subsequent to the first sale. This new right would mean that paintings, sculptures, and other works would carry an additional royalty fee for any sales after the creator has sold their work.

MORE: http://thetyee.ca/Mediacheck/2009/12/23 ... Agreement/
Oscar
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