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Canada Trade Agreement Wins European Parliament Green Light

Canada Trade Agreement Wins European Parliament Green Light

The vote was the last major hurdle to the deal, first signed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin (or "Joe") Trudeau and European Council President Donald Tusk on October 30 past year.

In 2015, about 28.3 billion euros worth of Canadian goods were imported into Europe, while the European Union exported goods worth 35.2 billion euros, all of which is expected to increase by more than 20 percent when the deal is fully implemented, according to the EU.

When asked today about possible hiccups once CETA gets kicked to national parliaments, Canada's Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne said he is "looking very closely" at those votes.

The European People's Party member said no one would vote for the agreement if that was the case.

"National governments have already approved the agreement".

Some industries are left untouched by the deal, such as audiovisual and transport services and a select few agricultural products, including dairy, which is heavily subsidised in Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will arrive in Europe tomorrow with free trade at the top of his agenda.

UK House of Commons approves final European Union exit bill
The BBC quoted an unidentified government source as saying the Lords could face "an overwhelming public call to be abolished" if it blocked the bill.

Members of European Parliament (MEPs) also approved the conclusion of an EU-Canada Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) as a complement to CETA.

But politicians and European Union nations are divided over how best to fix the complex system, with industry and environment groups lobbying hard on opposing sides over dozens of amendments to the European Union executive's proposal.

The Wallonia veto was overcome when an addendum to the deal addressing regional concerns over the rights of farmers and governments was introduced.

Europe remains a preferred trade target for Canadians, coming second only to Canada's largest trading partner, the United States.

The deal was put in jeopardy after the Wallonian region refused to agree to the terms, anxious that cheaper goods from Canada would hurt the farming and labor sectors, as well as lessen environmental and consumer standards.

Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the ALDE liberal group, said: "President Trump has given us another good reason to intensify our links with Canada". The new ISDS provisions foresee an Investment Court System in which publicly appointed judges rather than arbitrators would hear cases and an appeal tribunal would be established.


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