This Canada-EU trade agreement is going into effect, maybe as soon as April. The ILWU and the SIU have been noisily opposed to it for a long time. I’ve not seen anything else about the projected impact on Canadian mariners. This excerpted from the CBC article:
Not only does it drop and phase out tariffs and grant new market access for a wide range of products including agricultural commodities, but it opens up Canadian government contracts to foreign companies and moves to harmonize certification as well as labour and environmental standards between the two trading partners.
Nearly all the press has been about the European protests against the agreement. I’m left wondering what it means for us.
If our shipyards have to compete with Gdansk for government contracts how can we continue to have a national ship-building industry?
Harmonizing of certifications and standards is all well and good, but what does it mean for our lake’s fleet… which maybe-probably doesn’t meet European environmental standards. That’s big chunk of our sea-farer’s work. Are the unions right, is this the end of Canadian cabotage? Or does it open up more opportunities for Canadian Vessels and maritime workers? Will our crewmen be eligible to work on European flagged vessels?
I just don’t know enough about how the European system works to be able to imagine what harmonization looks like. Any ideas?