On 15th Feb 2016, the CETA was approved by a majority of 408 in favour, 254 against and 33 abstentions in the EU Parliament.
No other trade agreement has met a so strong opposition in the European Parliament, and in the streets, with the protests and the collection of 3,5 million signatures against TTIP and CETA. This resistance was expressed so well again today here in Strasbourg, outside and inside Parliament.
To vote CETA in the hurry, the European Parliament did not go adopt a resolution in deep on the content of the agreement (contrary to what it did for TTIP and CETA).
A majority approved CETA but was not able to adopt a joint accompanying resolution.
President Museveni (right) chats with Tanzanian president John Magufuli at the sidelines of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last week. The two are said to be working on salvaging the EAC-EU trade partnership
Uganda and the rest of East African community countries are better off consolidating trade amongst themselves rather than worrying about signing a trade agreement with EU, currently trying to come to terms with Brexit - exit of UK from the EU.
According to the Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI-Uganda), the regional countries should prioritise trade amongst themselves instead of trying to surrender its market to the EU through unfair trade agreement.
“It is important to appreciate the fact that while the EU market is important, the EAC market is of paramount importance for all partner states as it constitutes the largest market for the EAC member States and also offers better prospects for industrialisation and development of regional value chains,” reads the SEATINI – Uganda statement.
Tanzania says it won't sign the deal until it has done an in-depth analysis taking into account the prevailing circumstances, particularly with regard to issues such as Brexit
The East African Community meeting that was to be held this weekend to discuss the Economic Partnership Agreement between the region and the European Union was postponed after several member states failed to hand in key trade data, putting in doubt a subsequent meeting that would have set the agenda for the upcoming EAC Heads of States Summit in February.
“Tanzania, Burundi and Uganda are yet to hand in their data to the Secretariat, while Kenya has already done so. We are not sure when they will, so upcoming meetings have been delayed indefinitely until the Secretariat receives all the data,”The EastAfrican was told.
Last week, the EAC Secretariat wrote to the Tanzania, Burundi and Uganda tax authorities and statistic agencies, through the ministries responsible for EAC affairs, asking them to provide the latest tax and trade input data.
In a letter dated January 13 from the EAC Deputy Secretary-General Jessica Eriyo, the member states were asked to provide data showing the products they are trading in, value of imports, source of the products (exporting country) and the tax rates.
“We request you to liaise with your respective revenue authorities and bureaus of statistics to urgently provide the EAC Secretariat with the trade input data for the past 10 years to 2015 by January 18,” the letter reads.