The regional government of the Belgian region of Wallonia is blocking an EU trade deal with Canada which would reduce 98% of the tariffs between Canada and the EU.
Critics of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement [CETA] believe it will weaken consumer rights and damage the agricultural industry in EU member countries.
Sean O’Reilly writes:
Interesting reading from American born, Belgian based, German supported news outlet Politico on the topic of CETA…
Via The Brussels Playbook
it’s easier to imagine the deal as a meal.
Among many, many concerns, the negotiation process for CETA has come under substantial fire for being more of a set menu than an À la carte proposal.
With dinner having been opaquely decided on, at best not quite suited to the taste of some guests, and at worst inedible to some in the room, the Wallonian government has decided that it won’t be eating.
A key concern of the Walloons is the threat CETA presents to agriculture. In a region which boasts a cow for every three inhabitants, the prospect of the European market becoming flooded with Canadian products is a daunting one.
That the deal is an all or nothing proposal, and that the Walloons have rejected it in major part because of this raises the question of whether this way of doing business is now tenable.
….it’s worth noting that Politico leans fairly heavily towards the American centre, that is to say it would be very much pro-business, free market capitalism, and transatlanticism.
It’s possibly fair to say the Americans have gone soft so far away from home, but what’s interesting here is that the negotiation of these deals has been so poorly handled that even those who might be expected to be cheering them on have reservations.
Map via Economist.com