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S&Ds push for transparency and sustainability chapter in trade deals with Australia and New Zealand


26 Oct 2017


Global Europe
Trade & Society

Strasbourg, 26 October 2017

The European Parliament will vote today on recommendations for the trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand. The Socialists and Democrats are especially pushing for transparent negotiations and enforceable environmental and labor standards.

Karoline Graswander-Hainz, MEP and S&D spokesperson for trade relations with Australia and New Zealand, said:
“We say no to trade deals negotiated in backrooms. The public has a right to be fully informed. We Socialists and Democrats have been pushing for transparency in trade deal negotiations for a long time. It was a great victory for our group when the Commission published the draft negotiating mandates on both agreements. We now call on member states to follow the Commission’s good example and to also publish their negotiating mandates once adopted.
“We want to see robust enforceable sustainability chapters with the possibility of sanctions included in the trade deals. Social partners and civil society should be empowered to participate in any dispute settlement mechanisms. Whenever there are violations of labor law and environmental standards, there must be consequences.
“Any trade deal with New Zealand and Australia must be ambitious, modern and progressive.”

Alessia Mosca, MEP and S&D spokesperson on trade, added:

 “We support the opening of negotiations with Australia and New Zealand not only because this will benefit the European economy, but also because we are convinced that with two like-minded partners we can set golden rules to uphold the respect of our standards globally.

 “Australia, New Zealand and the EU have a common history. Both countries have similar levels of consumer and worker protection to us. A trade deal will strengthen our common approach and values.

“The S&Ds have always supported the European Union being a global actor. Now that the current US administration has left a vacuum, the trade deals with Australia and New Zealand would strengthen the position of the EU as a leading actor in the very dynamic Pacific region.”

Note to the editor:
Investment, including investment protection, will not form part of a future trade agreement; a position supported by the European Parliament. There could be a potential future agreement on investment protection, which would be of mixed national and EU competence and would thus require a separate authorisation for the negotiations.




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