Daily Management Review

Italy May Not Ratify EU-Canada Free Trade Agreement: Deputy PM


07/17/2018




Italy May Not Ratify EU-Canada Free Trade Agreement: Deputy PM
The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will be opposed by Italy as the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said that his country would not ratify deal.
 
According to the European Commission, Canada has agreed to eliminate customs duties on EU exports worth 400 million euros (468 million U.S. dollars) a year under the deal which came into force provisionally in September 2017 after the approval by the after European Parliament. For the treaty to completely take effect, it now needs to be ratified by the parliaments of the each of the member states of the EU. 
 
A leader of the populist Five Star Movement and also serving as labor and industry minister, Di Maio said last Friday that "this parliamentary majority will refuse" to ratify the CETA.
 
"We must defend ourselves and our economy," Di Maio said in a televised speech. "If even one Italian official representing Italy abroad continues to defend nefarious treaties such as the CETA, he will be removed."
 
According to Coldiretti, a representative body with about 1.6 million farmers and agricultural businesses in Italy hgat provides employment to about 300,000 people is opposed to the CETA, exports pegged at about with 40 billion euros' a year, the food and agriculture industry is the second largest exporting sector in Italy following the manufacturing sector.
 
But the Confindustria industrialists' association and the Italian Economy Minister Giovanni Tria raised their voice against the opposition to CETA and the comments made on the deal by Di Maio.
 
"Not ratifying CETA would be a serious error," Confindustria President Vincenzo Boccia tweeted. "The CETA is advantageous for Italy because we are an exporter country and through exports we create wealth."
 
Italian exports "performed brilliantly" in 2017 notching a growth rate of 7.4 percent and anticipated to clock a growth rate of 5.8 percent in 2018, says SACE export credit and business insurance company. SACE is a firm that is wholly owned by Italy's public investment bank Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP).
 
A SACE study published in June this year claims that Italian exports would touch 500 billion euros by 2019 and reach 540 billion euros by 2021 despite the "uncertainties and market volatility".
 
ISTAT national statistics institute reported Monday that compared to the January-May period 2017, a trade surplus of about 14 billion euros and exports growth of 3 percent was posted by Italy in the same period this year.
 
"My personal opinion is that free trade ... is always a good thing," commented Tria, according to Il Sole 24 Ore business paper. "But we must take a look at how these trade agreements are made -- the devil is always in the details."
 
There is little in the CETA that would help in shielding Italian products that possess denomination of origin labels like wines, cheeses, and hams and this is one of the major drawbacks of the deal according to Coldiretti.
 
"This treaty creates a dangerous precedent," Bazzana told the media. "Its fine print contains elements that we have never accepted with any other countries. For example, a Canadian producer will be allowed to make imitation Parmesan cheese, as long as the label describes it in English and doesn't use the Italian word 'Parmigiano'."
 
(Source:www.xinhuanet.com)






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