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European trade deal could get Canada sued by foreign companies: MP Nathan Cullen

This week the European Parliament approved a trade agreement that the Canadian government says will set a new bar for job creation.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomes the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) saying it will give consumers more choice while protecting both workers and the environment.

However, NDP Skeena Bulkley-Valley MP Nathan Cullen has several concerns on how CETA could be a threat to Canada.

“There is still the clause in the agreement which allows foreign companies to sue the Canadian government on policies that we pass in our parliament. And that seems to me giving up your sovereignty, giving up your right to govern your own land.”

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Cullen says the deal is also problematic considering it was negotiated prior to Brexit. He says that’s about 30% of the market now out of the deal with Canada not changing any of the language in the agreement.

Cullen also anticipates the deal will hit consumers with a spike in costs on goods including pharmaceuticals.

“This is why we wanted the deal to be good coming out of the gate, because as we see with NAFTA and other trade deals, once they’re inked it’s almost impossible to make any changes. And usually the changes are just an erosion to the deal rather than any enhancement.”

The deal will now have to be ratified by each European government with the Canadian government saying significant parts will come into force by spring 2017.

“These agreements set the stage for an even stronger relationship with the EU, which will create greater opportunities for the middle class on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a statement.

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