E.U. adopts trade deals

Antelope Valley Press - - BUSINESS -

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.

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