Free trade between Europe and Canada – German Minister Gabriel emphasizes

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 10:16 GMT, Apr 15, 2016 |

German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Thursday (April 14) emphasized Germany’s need to support the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union.

“You can’t say that the globalization needs rules, but then not accept them. The next step is then that we would have to adapt and stick to the old system. We don’t want that. And I think Europe is taking it a step further and Germany has to do so as well. Once we have implemented the system of the investment courts with Canada, we have to push forward all the other trade agreements as well,” Gabriel told reporters at a joint news conference with Canada’s International Trade Minister, Chrystia Freeland, in Berlin.

Freeland pointed out that the trade deal would include a new way of settling investor claims, making it more likely that it will be passed and putting the United States under pressure to accept the same terms. In a statement, Canada and the EU said they had made changes to increase the rights of governments to regulate and set up a permanent and transparent tribunal to settle disputes.

“This agreement absolutely enshrines the right of governments to regulate to protect the environment and to set labour standards. In this agreement loss of profit of a company even of itself is not grounds for resorting to the investment chapter. This agreement explicitly allows governments to change their subsidy regimes without that being a reason to have recourse to the investment chapter,” Freeland said.