Monthly Archives: August 2014

The Canada-EU trade deal is headed for choppy waters

A leaked partial text of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is causing an awful lot of fuss — as much for what’s not in it (as leaked) as for what is. But trade agreements are all about the details — and there simply aren’t enough details in this leak to make an assessment.

Why did the leak originate in Germany? Why not? Clearly, Germany does not favour investor-state dispute settlement, which operates independent of a nation’s court system. That hostility drove the leak. A desire for full and open public debate made early public disclosure of relevant parts of the text inevitable.

The deal is not really done until it is approved by the EU Council. And the text which will be approved eventually likely won’t be the same as what has been leaked. There will be fewer blank pages, for starters; the leaked document is full of holes and is missing the all-important annexes.

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