Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Canada-EU agreement: good news

It seems that finally the democratic institutions of Canada and the EU will sign a free-trade agreement that will allow us to increase our exchanges wuth the great North American country. A free trade agreement that has conditions that makes it acceptable for local communities is a big achievement these days that globalization and openness are questioned by national populism. Trade agreements must be accompanied by mechanisms of adjustment and conditions that make sure that labour and environmental standards are not lowered. This particular agreement is especially good news because it will allow us Europeans to be in closer contact with a large democratic, federal aggregate that should be an example for all of us for its openness to foreign ideas, immigrants and refugees. This agreement and agreements like this would be much more difficult if Donald Trump were to win the US presidential election (or Marine Le Pen the French election). It is true that the Democrats in the US and social democrats in Europe have also shown increased reluctance to accept trade agreements, but the opposition has always been conditioned, and still today President Obama is in the forefront of efforts to reach agreements that are acceptable. International trade is one of the factors that has facilitaded economic growth in the last decades. It may also be a source of uncertainty and decline if conditions and adjustment mechanisms are not attached to it. That is why a reasonable position is to say yes with conditions to free trade agreements. And a special yes to an agreement with a federal democracy, Canada, from which we have so much to learn.

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