Reports suggest that Italy will not ratify the EU free-trade agreement with Canada because it does not ensure sufficient protection for the country’s speciality food products.
New agency Reuters quotes an interview given by Italy’s new Agriculture Minister Gian Marco Centinaio to newspaper La Stampa in which he said: “We will not ratify the free-trade treaty with Canada because it protects only a small part of our PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) and PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) products.”
All 28 EU member states must approve the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) for it to take effect.
CETA will abolish some 98% of customs duties, open up public tenders to companies and allow the EU to export more cheese and wine and Canada more pork and beef in quotas that expand over the next six years, Reuters reports.
Italy has more food products that enjoy PDO and PGI labels than any other EU country.
Centinaio belongs to the far-right League party that this month formed a government coalition with the anti-establishment Five Star Movement following the recent election.