CETA Passed in EU, Do Special Interest Groups Really Matter?
Just about a month after the original activist outbursts in Brussels, Belgium at last was able to spread apart the sea of angered EU citizens and find their way to officially approving the trade deal CETA.
Taking its proper place in recent trade history as a hugely controversial agreement, CETA (Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement) has spent many months circulating around parliaments throughout the 28 EU countries. The most hostility can be found in a farming region in south Belgium, Wallonia, where the small economy would not be able to compete with the influx of imports as a result of the agreement. Wallonians were successful in bringing the voting process to a halt through a unanimous Belgian vote on a temporary veto.
Such loud voices from special interest groups are not unheard of, and neither are the issues this agreement could present on many levels. Including, but not limited to threatening domestic small- business livelihoods, undermining labor, and subsequent damages to the environment.
However, foreign parliaments and government officials, such as German chancellor Angela Merkel, all coo synonymously that tariffs will decrease, and the overall economies of both the EU and Canada will flourish due to diminishing dependency on US exports for additional income.
The situation being all too familiar in comparison to similarly disputed trade agreements such as TPP, Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, and GATT. Throughout history, citizens of economically-adept countries have always cried out against the government signing away their rights to property, disrupting the land, and revoking other freedoms in the name of larger monetary gains most of the public will never see.
Emily H. Harris
Economics Intern from University of South Florida St. Petersburg at Binger Financial Services, LLC | bingerfinancial.com