France will ratify 'positive' EU-Canada pact: Macron

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France will ratify positive EU-Canada pact: Macron
TWEET THIS: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey meeting French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Friday.

Paris - Agreement removes tariffs on nearly all goods, services between Canada and Europe


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Published: Fri 7 Jun 2019, 9:26 PM

Last updated: Fri 7 Jun 2019, 11:27 PM

President Emmanuel Macron said Friday that France would move to ratify a wide-ranging trade deal between the EU and Canada despite criticism the pact gives excessive power to businesses while exposing many smaller firms to unfair competition.
"The outcome from Ceta has been positive," Macron said at a press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Paris.
Most elements of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (Ceta) came into effect in September 2018, though only on a provisional basis while several EU nations debate ratification of the document.
The pact removes tariffs on nearly all goods and services between Canada and Europe, which the EU says will eliminate ?590 million (C$890 million, $665 million) in customs duties each year.
But rights activists say Ceta could weaken labour or environmental and health standards by giving corporate interests too much weight in determining industry regulations, while also encouraging nations to privatise public services.
They also denounce a dispute resolution framework that could expose governments to lawsuits from firms who claim national laws unfairly impede their operations.
Farmers meanwhile warn they could face huge imports of Canadian meat, cereals and other agricultural products that would put their livelihoods at risk.
Macron rejected the claims, saying the pact would be submitted to parliament this summer. "Thanks to the measures taken by the government over the past two years, we can guarantee that the definitive application of Ceta can happen in complete accord with national requirements in terms of health and the environment," Macron said.
"The economic destabilisation that some in the agriculture sector feared hasn't happened, in particular with Canadian meat imports, which haven't at all been as high as some people feared."

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