The PvdA no longer supports the CETA free trade agreement, which should simplify trade between the EU and Canada. Matters such as fair labor, the environment and animal welfare are insufficiently regulated in the text of the treaty that currently exists, says Lodewijk Asscher on Monday.

The cabinet must return to the negotiating table, writes MP Kirsten van den Hul. "The bar must and can be higher." Without the support of the PvdA there is no majority for CETA in the Senate.

The Netherlands signed the treaty in 2016. The House of Representatives must now approve the treaty, and after that the Senate must still agree. The treaty will only enter into force if all EU countries and Canada agree. Parts of CETA have been applied since 2017.

The CETA free trade agreement is intended to make trade between the EU and Canada easier and cheaper. CETA stands for Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (literally: broad economic and trade agreement) and consists largely of the removal of many trade barriers between Canada and the EU.

Import tariffs disappear almost completely and on both sides the same rules apply to products and services.

Economic growth and more employment

According to proponents of the trade treaty, CETA can lead to economic growth and more employment. Due to the treaty, trade between the EU and Canada could grow by € 25 billion a year.

Organizations such as Greenpeace, Milieudefensie, Foodwatch and trade unions have campaigned against CETA. They expect that the free trade agreement is particularly good for large companies and, on the contrary, has adverse consequences for ordinary citizens. Dutch farmers also called on the House of Representatives to vote against the treaty.