As Transcontinental Media reported in June, some members of the EU Parliament (MEPs) have been publicly calling on Canada to withdraw its challenge of the EU’s ban on Canadian seal products at the World Trade Organization (WTO), prior to any movement forward on the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.
Now, according to a news release issued by Humane Society International on Monday, over 100 MEPs have signed a statement to that effect. There are over 700 MEPs.
The statement says the members agree “the Canadian government challenge at the WTO in regards to the EU regulation on seal product trade is an attack on both European and Canadian values and European democratic processes.”
It states the members assert the EU parliament “should not support the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement until Canada withdraws its WTO challenge against the EU Regulation on trade in seal products.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade stated in June that the Canadian government views the seal product dispute and the trade deal as two separate subjects.
The Canadian Sealers’ Association (CSA) has stated they would like to see a settlement of the seal product issue before the trade deal is negotiated any further.
Having set up new offices in St. John’s over the summer, the CSA is set to host an official opening of those offices later this month, during which the WTO challenge is expected to be discussed.
Meanwhile, outside of the trade talks in Ottawa on Monday, the Humane Society International had two artists create a rendering on an 8’ X 30’ canvas, urging the negotiators not to “Seal the Deal.”