Merkel Defends EU Trade Pacts With Canada, USPublié : 03/10/2014
Berlin (Alliance News) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday defended the EU’s plans to forge trade deals with Canada and the US, saying both agreements represent considerable opportunities for the EU.
There are an « an infinite number of good reasons » for the EU to sign its planned trade pact with the US, Merkel told a meeting of Germany’s exporters and wholesalers association (BGA) in Berlin.
The chancellor said the US and the EU together represented about 65% of world trade and could, in the future, use their common economic area to set international standards, including for both China and India.
She went on to say that the proposed trade deal with the US, known as TTIP, would help to generate a large number of new jobs, which were desperately needed in Europe to help ease high youth unemployment.
Merkel also rejected claims that TTIP would not place at risk Europe’s high environmental and consumer protection standards.
German Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel called last week for a controversial investor protection clause to be removed from the EU’s so-called Comprehensive Economic and Free Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada.
But, in her comments to BGA, Merkel praised the new trade deal with Canada, saying that a considerable majority believe that much has already been achieved with the agreement.
Canadian and EU leaders on Friday signed a joint declaration committing to the already negotiated giant free trade agreement.
The chancellor told those attending the BGA conference that one of the major threats facing world trade was a sudden re-emergence of the eurozone’s lingering debt crisis in all its previous force.
« A resurgence of the euro crisis would be a disaster for the general world situation, » she said.
« We are (…) not yet at the point where we can say we have left the crisis completely behind us, » she said.
With this in mind, Merkel again called upon Germany’s eurozone partners to press on with cleaning up their state finances so as to meet their deficit and debt obligations under the Maastricht Treat on EU.
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