Sunday, 24 September 2017

Senate approves free trade deal with Canada

ČTK |
21 April 2017

Prague, April 20 (CTK) - The Senate, the upper house of Czech parliament, approved the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) that removes most duties and fees between the EU and Canada as of 2018 at its session on Wednesday night.

In March, the Senate approved the associated strategic partnership agreement between the EU and Canada that defines a joint struggle against terrorism, money laundering and proliferation of the arms of mass destruction.

Both agreements were endorsed by the European Parliament in February.

The lower house of Czech parliament, the Chamber of Deputies, has has not finished the initial discussion of the free trade deal. The Chamber only supported CETA in the first round of the approval process.

The Chamber will also take the final vote on the EU-Canada strategic partnership agreement.

Industry and Trade Minister Jiri Havlicek (Social Democrats, CSSD) told Czech senators on Wednesday that CETA is to increase the total volume of Czech exports to Canada by approximately 20 percent.

Havlicek said the exports of food may increase by up to 50 percent and of textile products by up to 80 percent.

Thanks to the trade deal, the Czech and European markets will not be flooded by products that would not meet EU standards, he said.

CETA critics say it may threaten thousands of jobs, but its supporters dismiss this.

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