The four Irish EPP Group MEPs (Fine Gael) Seán Kelly, Mairead McGuinness, Brian Hayes and Deirdre Clune, today (Wednesday) voted in favour of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) to boost trade and job creation, in a final vote of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
“After 7 years of negotiations, with the full inclusion of various stakeholders including trade unions, NGOs, governments and more, an advanced, extensive trade agreement was achieved between the EU and Canada. Today, we will vote in favour of its implementation.”
“We know that every €1 billion in exports supports 14,000 European jobs. Let’s not forget that Ireland is an export-led economy, selling 80 percent of all products abroad. Put simply, more trade means more jobs. CETA presents a trading opportunity with a trusted, democratic country where almost 15pc of citizens claim Irish ancestry.”
Overall, the agreement is expected to raise the level of the EU’s annual GDP by around €12 billion per year and increase bilateral trade by €26 billion. There are particular benefits for Ireland and especially for small to medium sized businesses with clearer rules for SMEs and a more competitive trade and export environment, with the Irish services sector set to benefit from free access to the Canadian services market too.
“Currently, EU food and agricultural exports face between 10-20pc tariffs with Canada. CETA will eliminate almost 92pc of tariffs meaning agricultural and food products to Canada will be duty free. However, it is also important to note that certain sensitive sectors, such as beef and pork will have limited quotas. CETA will also not open up the market for poultry and eggs in the EU or Canada. And of course, only hormone-free produce will be allowed into the EU,” added Mr Kelly.
The Investor Court System (ICS) in the CETA agreement will ensure protection for investments while enshrining the right of governments to regulate in the public interest. Extensive consultations with the general public and relevant stakeholders are ongoing on this issue within the EU, and will feed into the negotiation process for the creation of a new multilateral investment court.
CETA will be provisionally applied from April 2017 and then ratified by Member States.