Canada says it’s EU’s ‘job’ to save trade pact

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

CANADA turned up the heat on the Euro­pean Union, say­ing it was the bloc’s “job” to save a trade pact thrown into doubt by a Bel­gian re­gion’s re­fusal to sign on.

Chrys­tia Free­land, the Cana­dian trade min­is­ter, struck a firm tone af­ter leav­ing last-ditch talks with Euro­pean par­lia­ment head Martin Schulz aimed at sal­vaging the pro­posed ac­cord.

“Now the ball is in Europe’s court and it’s time for Europe to fin­ish do­ing its job,” Ms Free­land said.

Brus­sels mean­while scram­bled to re­solve the im­passe as Mr Schulz also had a hud­dle with Paul Mag­nette, head of the Wal­lo­nia re­gion’s so­cial­ist govern­ment which is block­ing the agree­ment be­tween Ot­tawa and the 28-na­tion bloc.

The pact with Canada known as the Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic and Trade Agree­ment (CETA) would link the EU mar­ket of 500 mil­lion peo­ple with the world’s 10th big­gest econ­omy.

The ac­cord was ini­tially sched­uled to be signed on Oc­to­ber 27 and Mr Schulz in­sisted that date re­mained in the diary.

Ms Free­land’s com­ments fed into warn­ings that the EU, be­set by rising anti-glob­al­i­sa­tion sen­ti­ment, may never be able to land any other deals – in­clud­ing one with the US.

The CETA is op­posed by antiglob­al­i­sa­tion groups who say it is a test model to push through an even more con­tro­ver­sial EU-US trade deal called TTIP, talks on which have also stalled. –

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