E.U. adopts trade deals
BRUSSELS (AP) — European lawmakers have overwhelmingly approved free trade and investment deals between the E.U. and Vietnam that will eliminate almost all tariffs over the next ten years, despite concerns about the human rights situation in the country.
After an influential parliamentary trade committee recommended last month that the agreements should be adopted, lawmakers agreed to back the trade deal on Wednesday by 401 votes to 192, with 40 abstentions. The investment protection deal providing a dispute settlement system was endorsed by 407 lawmakers.
The E.U. hopes the deals will result in $16.5 billion a year in additional exports from Vietnam to the continent by 2035, with E.U. exports to Vietnam expanding by more than eight billion euros to an annual level around 22 billion euros.
Vietnam mainly exports telecommunications equipment, food and clothing to Europe.