VIENNA/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Canada’s trade minister and the EU trade chief sought on Wednesday to overcome the doubts of Austria and other EU members over a planned EU-Canada free trade deal, with a declaration spelling out the limits of the contentious pact.
Canadian Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland, speaking in Vienna, said the legally binding additional declaration on key issues would add no new elements to the deal, which Austria’s chancellor opposes in its current form.
“What the joint declaration can do is strengthen elements which already exist in the agreement,” Freeland told a joint news conference with Austria’s Economy Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner on Wednesday. “What it is not able to do is introduce entirely new elements.”
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) has been a key target of protests by unions and environmental and other groups who say it will worsen labor conditions and allow big business to …
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