Only small changes possible to EU-Canada pact investor clause: EU

Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:19am EST
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BERLIN (Reuters) - Only small changes can be made to an investment protection clause in a trade pact between Canada and the European Union, European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said on Monday.

"There can be minor clarifications and adjustments," she told a news conference in Berlin with German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel.

Gabriel added that the investor protection clause in the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) could not be changed totally.

The clause is disputed because it would allow companies to take cross-border legal action against governments.

In September, Gabriel had said Berlin would not sign unless this clause were scrapped. The deal could boost bilateral trade by a fifth to 26 billion euros ($34 billion) and is widely seen as a template for an EU trade pact with the United States.

(Reporting by Markus Wacket; Writing by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Stephen Brown)