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Trade deal with Canada ‘distorts competition,’ protesting French farmers tell RT

Trade deal with Canada ‘distorts competition,’ protesting French farmers tell RT
The government-pushed trade deal with Canada provides an unfair advantage to foreign producers, disgruntled French farmers told RT as they stage protests outside the ruling party’s offices across the country.

French farmers have been dumping tons of manure outside the offices of lawmakers from the ruling party, LaREM (La Republique En Marche!), in protest against the free trade agreement between the EU and Canada. The deal, known as CETA, was approved by the nation’s parliament and took effect on a preliminary basis.

The agreement, among other things, removes 98 percent of tariffs between Canada and EU countries, and is intended to boost bilateral trade.

Other forms of protest included vandalizing the offices with graffiti and pelting the buildings with eggs. The authorities blasted these actions, with Interior Minister Christophe Castaner calling them “premeditated attacks.” But farmers say CETA puts them at an unfair disadvantage and there is no other way to get the message across.

“The demands on us are high… draconian demands! Meanwhile, the Canadians can use products and their farming methods that are banned in France. So it’s a considerable distortion of the competition,” farmer Jacques Fortin told RT in Tours.

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Fellow farmer Hubert Viau said that CETA poses other problems as well, like flooding France with goods from countries outside of the EU which “don’t have the same control” over production.

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