Canada, Europe cheer EU trade deal
OTTAWA — Lawmakers in Canada and Europe are hailing Wednesday’s approval of the Canada-EU free trade deal by the European Parliament as a win for the values of openness in the face of anti-trade movements, including the Donald Trump administration.
The legislature in Strasbourg, France, approved the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement by a margin of 408-254, clearing a major hurdle for the deal that saw its first round of bargaining almost eight years ago and has had to overcome mounting anti-trade populism in Europe.
Canada’s Parliament is also expected to ratify the deal in the coming months, which will allow the deal to take effect without the ratification of the European Union’s 28 member countries and numerous regional governments.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was en route to France to deliver his own pro-trade message in an address Thursday to the European Parliament, a first for a Canadian leader, and to top business leaders a day later in Germany.
In Canada Wednesday, Trudeau sang the praises of the deal as evidence of the merits of globalization.
“I think it’s an illustration that when you put forward a progressive trade deal that takes into account the responsibility of governments to create good middle-class jobs, create inclusive growth — not just for a few, but for everyone — (and) that focuses on the middle class, we can move forward on globalization.”