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Climate & rights slighted as MEPs back dire Vietnam trade deal

Despite warnings from Left MEPs and civil society of threats to jobs in the EU and human rights violations in Vietnam, the European Parliament has approved the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement.

The agreement is part of so-called “new generation” of trade agreements the EU is currently negotiating with about 20 countries and regions, which are broad in scope and grant businesses powers to sue governments for loss of income, overriding regulations to protect the public interest.

Furthermore, the agreement has been criticised for lack of enforcement of its sustainability chapter, its incompatibility with the European Green Deal and for ignoring human rights violations in Vietnam, including of workers´ rights.

MEP Emmanuel Maurel (France Insoumise, France) commented:

“Despite there being a dual social & climate emergency the free trade dogma has continued to flourish without any limits.

“The EU is ratifying this agreement with Vietnam without protecting European workers from the many risks of relocation. Nor does the agreement protect Vietnamese workers, trade unionists, or human rights defenders.

“The European Parliament solemnly declares a climate emergency and debates a ´green new deal´ while continuing to promote a trade model based on an ever expanding volume of trade and transport. To the hypocrisy of social dumping, this agreement adds the irresponsibility of environmental dumping.

“We must develop new relations with our partners that are not based on endless trade. It is up to us to learn the lessons of Brexit, the catastrophic situation in Australia and accordingly, to respond to the aspirations of the peoples of Europe,” Maurel concluded.

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