An environmentalist author calls on the government to reject the free trade agreement finalised between Canada and the European Union before a chain of such agreements with the US and scores of further countries would deprive nation states of their chance to protect their environments.
On Mandiner, Péter Ungár, an expert and Budapest district council member of the LMP party calls the free trade arrangements to be signed between the European Union on the one hand and Canada and the United States on the other as ‘Trojan agreements’. The text of the former, eliminating trade barriers between Canada and the European Union, has been finalised and will be submitted to European national parliaments for approval shortly. If it is adopted by member states it will open the way to a series of similar agreements with the United States, Singapore and Vietnam. The author’s main concern is the provision allowing private investors to sue local governments in elected courts. Under this provision called ISDS or Investor-State Dispute Settlement, US multinationals have been paid large compensation by Canada and Mexico for environmental rules curbing the companies’ profits. The text recognises the right of national governments to protect their environments against industrial pollution, but allows for compensation whenever those rules “are too broadly formulated”. By rejecting the Canada-Europe Free Trade Agreement (CETA), Hungary would also block talks about the liberalisation of US-Europe trade (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or TTIP), Ungár says. „This is the only way to avoid the damage to be caused by such Trojan agreements”, he concludes.