The new Italian government formed by the 5-Star Movement (anti-system) and the League (far right) does not intend to give the go-ahead to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) concluded by Canada and the European Union (EU) ).
“We will not ratify the free trade agreement with Canada, because it protects only a small portion of our PDOs (Protected Designations of Origin) and our PGIs (Protected Geographical Indications),” he said. the Italian Minister of Agriculture, Gian Marco Centinaio, to the daily La Stampa .
Among the 28 member countries of the European Union, Italy is the country with the highest number of stamped PGI and PDO products.
PGI refers to an agricultural product that has been developed in a geographical area with specific know-how related to their production or processing, without all ingredients necessarily coming from one place.
The PDO applies rather to a product where all the ingredients come from the same zone and which is transformed there.
After years of negotiations, CETA came into force on September 21. About 90% of the measures aimed at increasing the trade it contains are applied. This includes the abolition of many tariffs and the elimination of quotas.
The rest of the agreement, however, must come into force after ratification by the national parliaments of the 28 member countries of the European Union and a dozen regional parliaments. It has always been understood that it could take several years.
Pending full ratification, the arbitration tribunal, which must deal with disputes arising from the cartel, can not take office. Other measures concerning the protection of investments have not come into force either.
CETA provides Canadian exporters with access to the European market of 500 million consumers. It is estimated that it could increase trade between Canada and the EU by 20% to 25%.
Chrystia Freeland says negotiations continue
According to Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, Italy’s refusal is not necessarily final.
In a press briefing in Washington, she said she had “good conversations” with Giuseppe Conte’s government at last week’s G7 summit on the EU free trade agreement. and that negotiations with Italy are still ongoing.
Mrs Freeland believes that it will be possible to obtain ratification from all EU member states.
She gave the example of Austria, which was reluctant before the agreement, but which finally ratified it this week.
Diane Elliot is a seasoned journalist with nearly 12 years experience. While studying journalism at University of Southern California, Diane found a passion for finding engaging stories. As a contributor to Coastal Morning Star, Diane mostly covers human interest pieces.