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CETA Signed Off As Wallonia Folds Under Pressure (freezenet.ca) 158

Dangerous_Minds writes: The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) has been signed off. The government of Wallonia appeared to be holding off on the agreement, but has since folded under the pressure. Two days after Wallonia agreed to the trade deal, countries signed off on the agreement. The agreement contains provisions surrounding a three strikes law, a global DMCA, site blocking, and the hugely controversial ISDS provisions to name a few. The deal still needs to be ratified for these laws to take effect.
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CETA Signed Off As Wallonia Folds Under Pressure

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  • Signed Off? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Is this british english? What does that mean? It was cancelled? (Just kidding, I read the article). But, WTF? Signed off.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      And wtf is wallonia..?

    • Re:Signed Off? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Sunday October 30, 2016 @07:19PM (#53180921) Journal
      We use 'signed off' to mean 'approved' in America too, so......
      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
        Signed off also means "ended" as derived from broadcasts that "sign off" to end the day.
      • by tsqr ( 808554 )

        We use 'signed off' to mean 'approved' in America too, so......

        Yeah. The usage in TFS is a odd, though. Usually, it's used in reference to a group or person giving approval, as in "The head of HR signed off on the new policy." Not "The new HR policy has been signed off."

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It means nothing, its the fake signing ceremony they have to pretend its a done deal that cannot be revoked. It's sort of a two step thing, they sign it off and tell doubters its only ceremonial, and when it comes to National Parliaments, where the actual legal democratic process is supposed to occur, they tell them its a done deal already signed off.

      Yet the treating still includes the fake court (a tribuneral of lawyers that is not a court, not within any democracy and not challengable) that can require ch

      • Well, I'm not sure I'd put it as you did ( " a fake approval "), but you are describing the Standard Operating Procedure for most International Treaties by most Nations (including the United States). A Treaty is signed, and then it is ratified. The Ratification process usually involves passage by a legislature of some kind (Congress, Parliament, House, etc) and the process is defined by the laws of each Nation.

        So, yes, this Treaty has to be ratified in Europe and in Canada. I believe there is a two year win
    • They Were signed into AOL. Took them 10 years to figure out how to sign off.

  • The multinationals backed by a puppet US Government Signed off as Wallonia Folds Under Pressure..

  • by Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Sunday October 30, 2016 @06:48PM (#53180777)

    ISDS = workers rights gone as big corps can say they are bad for profits.

    • by Dutchmaan ( 442553 ) on Sunday October 30, 2016 @06:50PM (#53180797) Homepage
      You can only squeeze people so far before there's a breaking point. THEN it gets REAL ugly!
      • they have basic healthcare over there.

        • Yes. As they do in Canada.

        • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Sunday October 30, 2016 @08:43PM (#53181225) Journal
          And less-than-basic taxes to pay for them. Don't get me wrong, I live in one of them countries and enjoy universal health care, but it's not all good. For one, our health care system suffers from many of the problems that the USA also has, for example having a small group of far too powerful insurers driving up prices. And our health care is expensive, while the premiums are affordable... or appear to be. According to some figures, our health care is one of the most expensive ones in the world (as % of GNP), but only 1.5% of that is paid for directly by patients, and few countries enjoy health care that cheap. But we pay a lot indirectly... in a pretty average middle class family where both mom and dad work, as much as 1/4 of their wages goes to health care indirectly, through income tax.

          Oh and back to the topic at hand: Wallonia didn't "fold under pressure", the politician holdouts never had the intention of letting CETA tank; they simply saw this as an opportunity to wrangle out a couple of nice concessions for the region. Probably a few exemptions or some extra regional aid out of Brussels... and under the table, perhaps a few cushy jobs for the polticians themselves a few years down the line. It wouldn't be the first time such deals were made.
          • by Anonymous Coward

            Canada does not have universal health care. It has federal tax and transfer funding, a separate HMO per provincial government, and supplemental private insurance. The provincial HMOs are the only thing that give Canadians bargaining power to influence medical wages and the cost of drugs.

      • and nothing else. You can literally do anything else. And you can squeeze as hard as you want on 10% of the population. The US used to do it to black folks, India to the "untouchables", Japan to Islanders and the Chinese/Koreans, etc, etc.

        The 1% have long since learned how hard they can squeeze. What few wars break out are when one member of the 1% pisses off another. We moved on Iraq so we could move on Afghanistan too. We did that so we could build an oil pipeline the Afghanistan gov't opposed.

        Don
      • And what are they going to do about it?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      ... they are bad for profits ...

      Big corps say that all the time and ISDS has nothing to do with workers. The point of the ISDS is allowing (US) corporations to sue foreign governments for lost sales caused by changes in law; sound familiar? (Hint: TTIP, TTP) The government that signs this gets absolutely no powers in exchange. In other words, when a foreign government realizes a (US) corporation is screwing them, that corporation can demand compensation for being nice. Such compensation is decided in secret tribunals although govern

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 30, 2016 @06:49PM (#53180781)

    Wallonia is a real place, it's a region of Belgium, which is a country in Europe.

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      Yeah, right. Next, you'll be telling us its populated by Walloons.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They built a Wallonia, and will make us all pay for it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This deal removes barriers to trade and will boost both economies significantly; with at least 22.9% increase worth €25.7 billion. See here [europa.eu].

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 30, 2016 @07:11PM (#53180889)

      When companies can sue a country because polluting can yield bigger profits but the government opposes it, there's something really wrong with the world.

      • by knightghost ( 861069 ) on Sunday October 30, 2016 @07:17PM (#53180911)

        Don't forget the $50 Billion in job losses to offset the $25 B in gains. We tried this crap with NAFTA etc and it only benefits the rich.

        • by GlobalEcho ( 26240 ) on Sunday October 30, 2016 @09:04PM (#53181287)

          Don't forget the $50 Billion in job losses to offset the $25 B in gains. We tried this crap with NAFTA etc and it only benefits the rich.

          People who actually have studied this [cfr.org] and know something about it disagree with you.

          I don't blame you, it is an easy mistake to make because benefits are diffuse while costs are concentrated and easy to identify [economist.com], especially due to the inadequacy (in the USA) of the trade-adjustment assistance program.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Wait. You're suggesting that the Council on Foreign Relations agenda benefits anyone but the rich? Ahahahahahahahaha. Let me catch my breath. Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

          • by ph1ll ( 587130 ) <ph1ll1phenryNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Monday October 31, 2016 @01:26AM (#53182073)

            From your own link:

            "Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, says anxiety over trade deals has grown because wages haven’t kept pace with labor productivity while income inequality has risen. To some extent, he says, trade deals have hastened the pace of these changes".

            The fact that "most estimates conclude that the deal had a modest but positive impact on U.S. GDP of less than 0.5 percent" (from your link) is largely irrelevant when most people do not get to see the benefits. Indeed, median American income has been shrinking since the late 1990s [boundless.com] (when adjusted for inflation) even while the mean has increased.

            Don't get me wrong. I'm one of the people who has done well out of the whole arrangement. But I totally appreciate others have not and are angry about it.

            • by khallow ( 566160 )

              The fact that "most estimates conclude that the deal had a modest but positive impact on U.S. GDP of less than 0.5 percent" (from your link) is largely irrelevant when most people do not get to see the benefits. Indeed, median American income has been shrinking since the late 1990s (when adjusted for inflation) even while the mean has increased.

              The obvious rebuttal is "Compared to what?" There is this mythology that the US's economic conditions of the 1950s and 1960s would continue, if only the US stopped trading with the rest of the world (or at least imposed punitive tariffs on goods and services from the poor parts of the world).

              But back in 1950 after the end of the Second World War, aside from the US and a handful of other countries, no one was developed world. Europe was a vast mess and the rest of the world was as poor as it was going to

              • by Anonymous Coward

                TL;DR: Man, this "supply-side" is really awesome. Want a toke?

                • by khallow ( 566160 )
                  Workers supply what employers demand. You need an approach that is reasonably balanced IMHO not something that heavily favors one side. .
                  • by Anonymous Coward

                    Workers supply what employers demand. You need an approach that is reasonably balanced IMHO not something that heavily favors one side. .

                    Works can't supply free labor and tax cuts indefinitely. They'll starve.

                    Because "poor "workers" are other people. Not high class media moguls like we Slashdotters. Because reasons.

                    • by khallow ( 566160 )

                      Works can't supply free labor and tax cuts indefinitely. They'll starve.

                      Why is that even considered a problem? Workers don't do that now. Are workers going to forget how to negotiate or job hop, if Big Brother isn't carefully guiding them? Even in a completely free job market, there would be an effective minimum wage below which employers simply won't get workers.

                    • by Anonymous Coward

                      Works can't supply free labor and tax cuts indefinitely. They'll starve.

                      Why is that even considered a problem? Workers don't do that now. Are workers going to forget how to negotiate or job hop, if Big Brother isn't carefully guiding them?

                      You're already wrong because workers DO do that now, since most workers ARE replaceable and cogs. Walmart is subsidized by the taxpayer and shows their employees how they can collect food stamps and other government assistance programs.

                      Even in a completely free job market, there would be an effective minimum wage below which employers simply won't get workers.

                      And that minimum wage will reach the "homeless starvation" wage in our lifetimes. Well, mine anyway, you may be extra old with that extra white attitude. Taxi and truck drivers are being replaced by robots and there isn't a new sector being created that they can migrate to, f

                    • by khallow ( 566160 )

                      You're already wrong because workers DO do that now, since most workers ARE replaceable and cogs. Walmart is subsidized by the taxpayer and shows their employees how they can collect food stamps and other government assistance programs.

                      Duh, Walmart employing poor people and helping them get government assistance is precisely the sort of thing we want to subsidize. Also keep in mind that it costs Walmart some to provide that service.

                      But I don't see that as being relevant to my point. In the absence of an official minimum wage, Walmart isn't going to get free labor.

                      And that minimum wage will reach the "homeless starvation" wage in our lifetimes. Well, mine anyway, you may be extra old with that extra white attitude. Taxi and truck drivers are being replaced by robots and there isn't a new sector being created that they can migrate to, free training or not.

                      Unless, of course, you're wrong, then it won't. I'll just note that I have already mentioned that the rest of the world is getting wealthier. It's not going to take many decad

                    • by khallow ( 566160 )

                      The fact you have to tell some people in the developed world that they have to "take a haircut" implies implies that all the benefits from last 60 years or so wasn't a result of capitalism and free trade (really, you sound like some Star Trek hippie talking about the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few)

                      Buggy whip manufacturers had to take a hair cut too. Just because the pie is growing doesn't mean there won't be losers.

            • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

              The important question to ask here is if the growing inequality is a result of the trade deal, or if it's the result of something else and in a parallel universe could have benefited ordinary workers. If it's the latter, it seems that opposing the trade deal is the wrong response.

      • And the investor dispute protocols are going to be changed; the makeup of any tribunal that makes the decisions on investor disputes with the EU or its constituent nations will be a fixed body and will not have anyone on the panel from the investor in question. The Wallonians didn't "fold", no matter how this ludicrous article claims, they got what they wanted, not to mention that it's likely they will still be able to set up roadblocks to agricultural imports if they feel it puts their own producers at har

    • by Anonymous Coward

      World Bank says TPP (which is almost identical treaty) will have no effect on GDP, its not a trade deal, its protectionism and a means for corps to overrule democracies:

      https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20160112/07433333306/world-bank-report-tpp-will-bring-negligible-economic-benefit-to-us-canada-australia.shtml

    • I'm not an expert, but I think the opposition to the agreement is not an issue regarding being anti-trade. The issue is regarding the "ear marks" which give industry too much legal power and could be used to scare the governments into hurting the people of their countries in order to support profiteering.

      The spirit of the agreement seems to be sound. I had to research it a bit to see why it was considered attractive to sign. After all, while there may be some... possibly many politicians who self-serve by g
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Extrajudicial transnational corporate control of sovereign law and policy. "But it's only fines based on lost profits!" the proponents cry, like we haven't seen, for example, the MPAA making up imaginary multi-billion-dollar annual profits during piracy studies.

    • but it's manageable as long as it doesn't get too big for it's britches. Fix wealth inequality and it won't matter. Worst case then & we'll pay a few billion here and there to some Chinese mega corps. Yeah, it'll suck to pay but it'll be small potatoes. Now, keep ignoring wealth inequality and it'll prompt a nativist backlash that'll make Trump seem tame by comparison...
  • ... to our new George Soros overlord.
  • The real deal is this: The french-speaking Parti Socialiste (PS or Socialist Party) was in government for 30 years or so. They always tried to hold back any laws that would grant more power to the regions (dutch-speaking, a.k.a. Flemish , french-speaking a.k.a. Wallonia and the mixed language capital of Brussels), but ultimately could endanger the financial transfers from the richer Flemish part to the poorer and big spending Walloon side, but this policy backfired the last decade when Flemish people (60% o
  • I'm more interested in what Elbonians have to say on the matter.

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