Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-05-09-Speech-1-177-000"

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"Madam President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, it would seem that some groups are very sure that it is right for us now to seek a very ambitious free trade agreement with Japan. As you have heard, my group is not so sure. I myself have great sympathy with this position because I believe that by strengthening cooperation in trade, we can help generate a new economic dynamism in Japan, following the disaster that has befallen the country. However, there are some fundamental questions that are inescapable. I do not intend to repeat what has been said about the need to predict the consequences in the bilateral area, or about the fact that we should avoid the mistake of first defining free trade priorities and then moulding European industrial policy to these as a dependent variable, or that the question of making a contribution to sustainability must be taken into consideration. I should like to emphasise something else: I believe that the effects that such a free trade agreement between two of the giants of international trade would have on the entire structure of global trade must be discussed in greater detail than has been the case heretofore. When two such mammoths of the commercial trade sector enter into negotiations on a free trade agreement, then this is not simply a bilateral matter. Until now, there has been no free trade agreement between two economic superpowers, so this would be a first. But what does that mean? What is the strategic perspective? What effect will this have? It is not enough simply to say we want multilateral trade and if we do not get it, then we will stick with the bilateral dimension of free trade and wait to see what happens. We are also responsible for making the implications clear to the European public, which is why the involvement of Parliament in the issuing of the mandate, as called for by several of my fellow Members, must be central."@en1

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