Status: Not Ratified

France has a bicameral system that consists of the Assemblée Nationale and Sénat (National Assembly and Senate), requiring both to ratify CETA. In 2019, the National Assembly voted in favour of CETA, with a 266-213 vote. After a long delay, the Sénat voted on CETA in March 2024, rejecting the agreement in a lopsided 211-44 vote. The bill will now to back to the National Assembly, where President Emmanuel Macron’s party has since lost its majority.

Public debate

While President Macron and his party, Renaissance (formerly La République En Marche), support CETA, contestation has been intensive. Parties that oppose CETA’s ratification include the Republican Party, Debout la France, France Rebellious, the Communist and Socialist parties, and the far-right National Rally. The concerns that the opposition parties highlighted in parliamentary debates include economic interests, such as the beef sector and geographical indicators, as well as concerns surrounding food safety (i.e., hormones, GMOs and animal feed). Moreover, there is also contestation over the investor-state dispute settlement provisions and the potential for a “regulatory chill” in environmental and consumer protection. CSOs in opposition include agricultural associations, trade unions, consumer advocacy groups and environmentalists (e.g., Coordination Rurale, Federation Syndicale Unitaire and OGM dangers).

Trade data

France had a trade surplus in goods trade with Canada of €146 million in 2021 (Eurostat). Imports from Canada grew at €3.28 billion, which is 1.6% of France’s imports from outside the EU. Exports were €3.42 billion, 1.5% of France’s in extra-EU exports (Eurostat). Canada-France bilateral goods trade (imports + exports) grew by €2.17 billion, or 34%, increase between 2016 and 2019 (Statistics Canada).


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