The International Trade Practice Center on Bloomberg Law® provides in one comprehensive, time-saving resource.
May 11 — The European Union’s trade agreement with Canada is the anti-Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) because Canada has recognized key French concerns in those negotiations, while the U.S. has yet to do the same in trans-Atlantic trade talks with the EU, France's top trade official told Parliament.
French Secretary of State for External Trade Matthias Fekl told the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, May 11 as part of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), that Canada made a “strong recognition” of French agriculture and geographical indications.
Canada’s public markets will also be “largely open” to EU companies because of the agreement, and France already exports 3 billion euros ($3.43 billion) in products and 2.5 billion euros ($2.86 billion) in services to the country, Fekl said.
In France, the TTIP talks process is commonly called the “TAFTA,” in part to link it with some criticism attached to the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement.
Fekl was answering a question by National Assembly Deputy Jean-Noel Carpentier, a member of the Assembly’s committee on cultural and educational affairs. Carpentier expressed concerns about TTIP and what he called its “twin brother,” CETA, for which negotiations concluded 18 months ago.
The European Council of member state trade officials is due to meet May 13 in Brussels to consider implementation of the CETA and other trade matters.
Carpentier said the French public suspects TTIP will “benefit the interests of large multinationals, to the detriment of countries, and even worse, of the people. We are told it could even create special courts to challenge public policies. Mr. Minister, in what sauce are we going to be eaten?” he asked Fekl.
Fekl and French President Francois Hollande recently cast doubt on the viability of further TTIP talks, given revelations in documents leaked by Greenpeace, and given what Fekl has described as the U.S.'s refusal to budge on French concerns about agriculture, geographic indications, financial services, and market access to open U.S. public markets to French companies (86 ITD, 5/4/16).
Fekl has also frequently discussed U.S. insistence on including an investor state dispute settlement system (ISDS) in the TTIP agreement, a measure that faced strong public resistance in France and elsewhere in Europe.
By contrast, Fekl told Parliament that Canada is the first EU trade partner to formally accept “the French proposal for an international court of justice for trade.” Germany has also called for TTIP to include the alternative, which would have a standing list of judges as well as an appellate mechanism.
Carpentier said it “now looks like the TAFTA has lead in its wings, and so much the better,” but he said the EU is pushing for rapid, provisional implementation of the CETA, before member state parliaments have ratified it and, “that is un-democratic.”
Fekl said not to worry, that France and all other EU member states consider the CETA a “mixed treaty,” meaning that it must be ratified by all member states as well as by the European Parliament to take effect. He said the European Commission has not expressed its own position on the matter, but as a member of the Commission, France will be pushing its views on the subject.
Only CETA measures that have an EU-wide effect can be implemented provisionally, and only after approval by the European Parliament, with full “validation” to come after all EU member states have voted, he said. Fekl has previously said the TTIP would also be a mixed treaty and would require approval by all EU member states to take effect.
To contact the reporter on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at email@example.com
To contact the editor on this story: Jerome Ashton at firstname.lastname@example.org
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)