On September 26, 2014 Prime Minister Harper, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy signed a joint declaration to “celebrate the end of negotiations of the Canada-EU Trade Agreement.”
CETA is a “next generation” free trade and investment pact that Canada and the EU have been negotiating since May 2009. But it is better understood as a corporate power grab. The Harper government clearly sees CETA as a way to further deregulate and privatize the Canadian economy while increasing corporate power and undermining Canadian and European efforts to address the climate crisis.
The announcement of the completion of CETA was also the first time people in Canada and Europe were allowed to see the official text of the agreement. We are now being told that no changes are possible.
If ratified, CETA will unfairly restrict how local governments spend money by banning “buy local” policies, add hundreds of millions of dollars to the price of pharmaceutical drugs in our public health care system, create pressure to increase privatization of local water systems, transit and energy, and much more. The secret negotiating process and the overall corporate agenda behind these next generation deals are an affront to democracy on both sides of the Atlantic.
With the announcement that negotiations have ended and that the CETA text is now closed to any changes, citizens in Canada and Europe are left with just one option: reject CETA before it is ratified. Read more.