Canada still hope­ful of trade deal with EU

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

CANA­DIAN Trade Min­is­ter Chrys­tia Free­land re­mains hope­ful that a land­mark Canada-EU trade deal will be signed de­spite push­back from a re­gion of Bel­gium.

“CETA is not dead,” Ms Free­land said af­ter Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau spoke by tele­phone with Euro­pean Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Don­ald Tusk.

Mr Trudeau is still plan­ning to fly to Brussels to­mor­row to sign the Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic Trade Agree­ment.

In a state­ment, the prime min­is­ter said: “The EU and its mem­ber states should con­tinue to work to­wards the sum­mit in Brussels on Thurs­day where the Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic and Trade Agree­ment will be signed.”

Lead­ers of Wal­lo­nia, a 3.5mil­lion-strong French-speak­ing re­gion of Bel­gium, have pre­vented Bel­gium from sup­port­ing the pact, ef­fec­tively putting the brakes on EU plans to rat­ify it.

Fear­ing a flood of agri­cul­tural im­ports, they want more dis­cus­sions to pro­duce iron-clad re­as­sur­ances that CETA will not harm lo­cal in­ter­ests.

They have also crit­i­cised the terms of the deal in­tended to pro­tect in­ter­na­tional in­vestors which, they say, could al­low them to force gov­ern­ments to change laws against the wishes of the peo­ple.

The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion said ear­lier there was still time to con­clude the agree­ment de­spite fears in some quar­ters it was now close to col­lapse. –

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