Less than an hour ago, Canada and the EU signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). As it is, the UK is still part of the EU so how exactly does the CETA impact on us?
CETA gets rid of 98% of the production and import tariffs that currently exist for Canada. Along with that, it allows Canada to exports products to different standards of food production, food labelling and trading standards. Despite marches against Monsanto, legal battles against the use of genetically modified food and a palm oil labelling movement, CETA is opening the EU’s commercial doors to more deregulation.
Canadian corporations will not have to prove their compliance with the environmental trade laws put forth for most EU trading partners. But is that actually a problem?
Supporting CETA sends a message to corporations that the few laws we, as a region, have regarding protection of the environment, workers’ and producers’ rights, and food production standards, are less important than the profits local and international businesses would gain from paying lower duties and broadening their trading horizons.
Is that fair? Should we sacrifice the quality of what we consume and the environment we live in for the ‘trickle down effects’ of increased profits in agribusiness and other sectors? Are we forced to be neoliberal?