Just over a week after the announcement that negotiators had finally reached agreement on text of the Canada-EU trade pact, German Public Television Station ARD has released large portions of the deal for public scrutiny. The Harper government had not planned to release final details of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) until a joint summit on September 25 in Ottawa.
The news program Tagesschau focused its coverage on the controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism contained in the agreement and warned of dire consequences should similar provisions be included in the much larger transatlantic free trade deal being negotiated with the United States. Allowing companies to sue the government over policies or legislation seen as harming their investments could result in “parallel justice system for corporations” according to an international trade law expert the news program spoke with.
International Trade Minister Ed Fast’s office refused to confirm or deny the authenticity of the documents, tersely stating that “Canada does not comment on leaks of purported negotiating texts.” An e-mail sent to reporters by the minister’s spokesman insisted that “negotiators have already gone to great lengths to reassure the public that the deal is good for both sides” and stressed the “significant benefits that will be generated in every region of Canada upon the agreement’s entry into force.”
Copies of the leaked documents can be downloaded from the following links:
- Canada - Cross-Border Trade in Services and Investment (Provincial and Territorial) Annex I & Annex II
- Canadian Government Procurement Market Access offer
- Financial Services Offer – Canada
- Reservations for Existing Measures and Liberalisation Commitments and Reservations for Future Measures - AnnexI & Annex II
- CETA Services and Investment Reservations - Schedule of Canada - Annex I & Annex II