The EU-New Zealand Trade Liberalization Agreement is scheduled to be ratified on 21-22 November in the European Parliament. The negotiations, with the full support of Emmanuel Macron, began in 2018. They continued during the Covid-19 pandemic, with a great deal of uncertainty, when there was no political leader absent to promise public opinion about the process of transferring activities considered “strategic”.
After three years, European parliamentarians must vote on an agreement that will eliminate almost all tariffs on goods and services exchanged between the European Union and New Zealand. according to Impact study This plan could generate a 30% increase in trade from the European Commission. Thousands of additional containers will cross the world’s oceans while one will take around 40 days to reach a European port from Auckland.
After seven years of implementation, imports can be made without customs duties from a country 20,000 kilometers away from the European Union (details in Note Aitec decoder):
- Apples, kiwi, onions, wine, fish, shellfish, honey, etc. without limits
- 38 thousand tons of sheep meat
- 10,000 tons of beef
- 15,000 tons of butter
- 25 thousand tons of cheese
- 15 thousand tons of powdered milk
The same impact study predicts a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions associated with the transport of goods and increased production to be exported: agricultural products from New Zealand, and cars, industrial and consumer products from the European Union. A few days before the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28), will the European Parliament ratify an agreement that will worsen the climate crisis, with the blessing of EU member states, including France?
This condition, presented by the European Commission as the “most progressive” of the agreements, speaks more about the unsustainability of the other agreements than about the supposedly ideal nature of this agreement. The “reciprocity of standards in imports” that Emmanuel Macron has promised for many years has not yet been achieved. New Zealand farmers have the right to use products such as atrazine and diflubenzuron, two chemicals considered toxic and banned for use on European soil in 2003 and 2021 respectively.
Brussels and Paris welcome the fact that the agreement includes a “model mirror procedure” that allows the non-importation of beef fattened in feedlots (industrial feedlots). Except that there are almost no feedlots in New Zealand, livestock farming has historically relied on grazing.
On the other hand, only very serious violations of the Paris Climate Agreement (departure) and ILO core standards can be subject to sanctions under the sustainable development chapter of the agreement. This is highly unlikely, and more importantly, the nature of the agreement itself has not changed: it is still about increasing trade flows between the two parties, without these flows being conditional on improving the social and environmental conditions of the sectors. Worried. Finally, violations of commitments made regarding biodiversity, ending fossil fuel subsidies, combating deforestation and poaching, gender equality and corporate responsibility cannot be subject to sanctions.
There are many reasons why around fifty civil society organisations, including around twenty French organizations (ActionAid, Aitec, Friends of the Earth, Attac, Bloom, CGT, Confédération Paysanne, FSU, Fondation pour la Nature and Man, France Nature Environnement) , Generations). Futures, Notre Affaire à Tous, the Veblen Institute and the national association Stop CETA/Mercosur), will be published communication So that European parliamentarians do not ratify this agreement!
The national group Stop CETA-Mercosur stresses that it is not possible to demand the implementation of the European Green Deal and the ratification of an agreement that would exacerbate global warming and lead to the import of goods already produced on European territory from the other end of the planet. The reason behind his invitation to Internet users to Write to Members of the European Parliament through an online procedure In order to obtain their commitment to vote against the ratification of the Convention.
More information: www.collectifstoptafta.org
Maxime Combs for Aitec and the national association Stop CETA/Mercosur.
“Reader. Travel maven. Student. Passionate tv junkie. Internet ninja. Twitter advocate. Web nerd. Bacon buff.”