16 July 2018
Commenting on EU-Japan trade agreement set to be signed on 17 July European Green Party co-chairs Reinhard Bütikofer and Monica Frassoni said:
“As negotiators conclude their work, public discussion of the merits and shortcomings of the proposed trade agreement is only beginning.
“We strongly criticise that the Commission did not provide the level of transparency that the public fought for so energetically in the discussions around TTIP and CETA.
“There are strong reasons to develop reliable, multilateral and fair trade relations. This is even more so the case as we experience unfair trade policies from so many corners. In particular from the US, but also from China and others.
“We consider it a victory for citizens critical of old trade policies that used to favour the interests of big corporations over everything else, that proposals for a privileged protection of foreign investors have not been included in this trade agreement.We also note positively that the trade agreement explicitly puts EU-Japanese trade into the context of the Paris climate goals.
“It would have been even better if the whole agreement would have been explicitly subjected to the ambition of helping to implement global sustainable development goals.
“We are alarmed by arguments from citizens but also from industry that the draft trade agreement does not offer the stringent protections against water privatisation that would be needed and that it even falls short of CETA in that regard. We insist that there be an open and inclusive public debate over all issues concerned. We’ve seen in the past that amendments were necessary and we will insist that such amendments would be taken up also in this case whenever justified concerns cannot be resolved by a better explanation of the text we presently have.”
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