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Raoul Delcorde, Belgium’s ambassador to Canada, said CETA is “essential” and suggested its ratification would send a strong signal to growing anti-trade and protectionist forces around the world. “We really look at Canada as a country that in many respects embodies the values we like, such as welcoming immigrants and refugees, in terms of getting involved in favour of free trade,” he said in an interview.
“It’s evident we are facing a situation where free trade is not as easy as it was before.
You don’t have to mention your neighbour in the south.”
"By adopting CETA, we chose openness, and growth and high standards over protectionism and stagnation," said Artis Pabriks from the European People's Party, calling Canada an "ally we can rely on." "Together we can build bridges, instead of a wall, for the prosperity of our citizens. CETA will be a lighthouse for future trade deals all over the world."
Prior to the vote, European advocates spoke of the desire to approve the deal out of empathy and solidarity with Canada in the face of aggressive trade threats and rising protectionism and nationalist sentiments in the United States.
And it is by no means clear that most Canadians are really so eager to be the conduit for foreign investors to escape economic, labour and environmental regulation, and thereby help domestic investors escape regulation as well. Indeed, under CETA, Canada’s own exposure to foreign investor claims would roughly double because Western European companies invest about as much in the Canadian economy as do U.S. investors.
Under NAFTA, the decisions of the Canadian judiciary on the constitutionality of many laws and regulations cannot be taken as final until all foreign investors eligible to bring claims have not done so or have run out of time to do so. Moreover, no one else affected by such a dispute, e.g. a local municipality or a province or a First Nation, is given a right of standing in the juridical process – making it fundamentally unfair as well as undemocratic.