Korea trade agreement
MEPs approve far-reaching FTA, endorsing environmental loopholes for European gas guzzlers
The European Parliament today gave its approval to a controversial free trade agreement with South Korea. The Greens have expressed concerns about the far-reaching nature of the agreement, including provisions under which Korean car emissions rules have been manipulated to allow European car makers to export more gas guzzling cars to Korea. After the vote, French Green MEP and vice-president of EP trade committee Yannick Jadot said:
"We seriously regret that MEPs have unquestioningly approved this problematic trade agreement. The far-reaching EU-Korea FTA sets a dangerous precedent for future EU trade policy, going far beyond mere tariff elimination to include sweeping market access provisions at the expense of social and environmental standards.
"Among the more odious provisions of the agreement, the EU succeeded in pushing Korea to massage its rules on car CO2 emissions to allow European car makers to export more big gas-guzzling cars to Korea. This arm-twisting by the EU, which has undermined the environmental integrity of Korea’s car emissions rules, is nothing short of scandalous. Worse, the EU is trying to spin this environmental loophole as allowing Europe's car industry laggards to 'compete fairly' in the Korean market with smaller, cleaner and more efficient Korean cars.
"The agreement also includes excessive criminal liability provisions for online intellectual property infringements. The Greens are concerned about what is effectively back-door legislating on internet freedom.”