Feb 17, 2016 - by Dr. Amy Verdun, University of Victoria

The coming of the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA), a second-generation trade agreement between Canada and the European Union has been a long time coming. This type of trade agreement meets many of the criteria of the more 'classic' trade agreements of which the EU has negotiated many which reduce trade barriers (tariffs and quantitative restrictions). At the same time, the 'second generation' dimension of it means that it includes more elements than merely free trade. It also includes matters such as public procurement, recognizing professional degrees, as well as dealing with dispute settlement. Some of the Canadian advocacy groups have not been overly impressed by the CETA. The Council of Canadians, for instance, is concerned that the investor dispute settlement will undermine Canadian democracy. Recently European citizens have been expressing their concern also.

Amy Verdun is UVic expert on EU-related issues; she is available for interviews.  She will will look into why there have been concerns about investor dispute settlements by European and Canadian advocacy groups, and whether their concerns are well-grounded during the Conference: CETA: OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES, UVic.

Other speakers include: Karsten Mecklenburg, Head of Trade and Economic Section, EU Delegation to Canada and Janel Quiring, Director International Trade, BC Govt. From UVic, Valerie D'Erman, Amy Verdun, and Jen Baggs will join the debate.

Dr. Amy Verdun is Professor in Political Science at the University of Victoria. She is also part of a pan-Canada network of experts working on European policy issues, the Strategic Knowledge Cluster Canada-Europe Transatlantic Dialogue.

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