Friday November 23, 2012
Canada's International Trade Minister Ed Fast traveled to Brussels
this week hoping to secure a deal on the Canada - EU Trade
Agreement. It looks like he'll be coming home empty handed as
the EU has issued a release
indicating that there are still gaps on key issues. The EU's take on
Commissioner De Gucht and Minister Fast had in-depth discussions
on the trade deal and made substantial progress. Both sides will
now instruct their negotiators to narrow the gaps on the
outstanding issues, aiming for a deal in the coming weeks. "I am
pleased that our meeting at a political level has provided the
momentum needed to spur on the negotiations into the home strait.
It's clear that there has been significant progress but some
important work remains to be done", stated Commissioner De Gucht.
Both Commissioner De Gucht and Minister Fast decided to meet
again very shortly and to continue discussions until an agreement
That is a far cry from a done deal with more "work to be done" and
the agreement going back to the negotiators for more talks.
TagsShareFriday November 23, 2012
Wednesday November 14, 2012
The Canadian Press reports
that Canada is ready to cave to European demands for changes to patent
rules that could cost Canadians hundreds of millions of dollars in
higher health care costs. The ministerial meeting on the remaining CETA
issues is set for next week.
TagsShareWednesday November 14, 2012
Thursday November 01, 2012
Reports this morning from EDRI, a European digital rights group, indicate that Europe
has now dropped demands to include ACTA-style intellectual property
criminal provisions within the Canada - EU Trade Agreement. The
inclusion of IP criminal provisions in CETA was the source of
considerable outrage in Europe in the aftermath of the European
Parliament's rejection of ACTA in early July. EDRI reports
that the European Council obtained support over the summer from
member states to drop demands for the criminal provisions, fearing
those provisions could lead to a European rejection of the treaty
(the Dutch government has already indicated it will not support CETA
if it includes ACTA provisions).
The removal of ACTA's criminal provisions leave only two
copyright-related question marks in CETA. First, the ACTA border
measures provisions have yet to be determined as they are being
discussed within the context of protection for geographical
indications. Second, Canada is still seeking the inclusion of
criminal anti-camcording rules. Canada adopted those rules in 2007
under significant pressure from the United States. Europe resisted
their inclusion within ACTA, resulting in a provision that is
optional rather than mandatory. While Canada is seeking a mandatory
rule, it seems likely this is a (very weak) bargaining chip, rather
than a serious attempt to require criminal anti-camcording measures.
Canada may drop the demand during negotiations later this month over
pharmaceutical patent reform. Regardless, the European Parliament's
rejection of ACTA has clearly had a significant impact on CETA as
the Internet and criminal provisions are now both apparently gone in
the face of widespread European opposition.
TagsShareThursday November 01, 2012
Wednesday October 31, 2012
EU Commissioner Karel de Gucht says
that there should be "no illusions" about the remaining difficult
issues in the Canada - EU Trade Agreement, suggesting that
completion by the end of the year remains uncertain. De Gucht
indicated that CETA once included ACTA language, but says that has
now been removed.
TagsShareWednesday October 31, 2012
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