Will CETA raise standards for consumers?
CETA, such as TTIP, is a « new generation agreement », whose purpose is not only to cut tariffs but also to bring the EU’s and Canada’s norms and legislations closer. Technical standards (eg: norms for motor vehicles) are concerned, but what really matters are the standards that have to do with sovereign choices regarding health or the environment. This for instance the case for sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards, defined through a so-called « science-based approach » in North America, while the precautionary principle is still officially prevailing in Europe. Chapter 5 of CETA is dedicated to harmonizing SPS norms on both sides of the Atlantic.
Another decisive issue regarding the well-being of consumers, is the protection the geographical indications (listed in Chapter 20). It is an offensive interest of the EU because Canada only recognizes trademarks. Nevertheless, the EU only secured the protection of 10% of its geographical indications: some products that are traded in the Canadian market will remain unprotected.
Pros and Cons
On protection of consumers in general
On geographical indications
NEW Foodwatch, New study proves: TTIP and CETA are undermining the precautionary principle and weakening European consumer protection standards – Political representatives deny risks of the free trade agreements (link https://www.foodwatch.org/en/press/press-release-study-on-precautionary-principle-in-ttip-and-ceta-28-06-2016/)
BEUC, CETA fails the consumer crash test problematic position