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Growing critique on linking ACTA with CETA


Media Tip 04/10/2012

CETA negotiations at risk?  European citizens raise serious concerns and accuse the EU Commissioner of concealing key information. Will ACTA be part of the negotiations in Brussels on October 15th?

Expert:

Michael Geist, University of Ottawa
Phone: 613-562-5800, x 3319
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Experts in Canada and Europe debate which steps to undertake in order to oppose the CETA negotiations if the ACTA like provisions stay in the new draft of the Canada Europe Trade Agreement. European citizens ask MEP members to walk out of the next round of negotiations starting in Brussel on October 15th. The citizen organisation "La Quadrature du Net" accuses EU Commissioner De Gucht of concealing key information about the current document in its latest news and therefore bypassing the democratic process.

See also our last media tip by Michael Geist. Feel free to contact Michael on this topic.

Dr. Michael Geist is a law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law. Dr. Geist is an internationally syndicated columnist on technology law issues with his regular column appearing in the Toronto Star and the Ottawa Citizen.

CETA negotiation at risk? Canadian opposition is growing due to European demands for patent reforms

Sept 27th, 2012 - The negotiations over the Canada - European Union trade agreement may be approaching the final stretch as both sides say they plan to wrap up the CETA talks by the end of the year. The parties have apparently reached agreement on roughly 75 per cent of the text, but the last quarter will require significant political compromise.

According to Michael Geist, an expert from the University of Ottawa, Canadian negotiators recently advised that there remains a sharp divide over issues such as investment rules, financial services, and taxation. Given the ongoing European financial crisis, these issues are particularly sensitive and will raise questions about how much risk the government is willing to accept in order to strike a deal.
The Canadian opposition to the chapter will come from European demands for patent reforms that could result in billions in additional health care costs due to higher pharmaceutical prices. The pharmaceutical demands are one of Europe's top priorities, but Canada has thus far refused to counter the EU proposals, creating a stalemate that has dragged on for years.
Steve Verheul, the lead Canadian negotiator, said in August that the pharmaceutical demands are unlikely to be discussed during the negotiations in October. Instead, the issue will be bounced back to cabinet, with the government ultimately making the decision on whether it is prepared to cave to EU demands with the trade agreement hanging in the balance. The large pharmaceutical companies insist that the reforms will increase research and development investment in Canada, yet according to Michael Geist past experience suggests that is unlikely to happen.

Dr. Michael Geist is a law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law. Dr. Geist is an internationally syndicated columnist on technology law issues with his regular column appearing in the Toronto Star and the Ottawa Citizen. He is available for interviews on September 27th and 28th. You can reach him by phone: 613-562-5800, x 3319 or Email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information read also his Blog http://michaelgeist.ca or tweets @mgeist.

 

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