EU and Canada to sign trade pact after Belgians strike key deal

By Robert-Jan Bartunek

Canada and the European Union will sign a landmark free trade deal on Sunday after a series of key votes in Belgian regional assemblies on Friday ended opposition that had threatened to destroy the entire agreement.Soon after the final Belgian vote, European Council president Donald Tusk called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and invited him to Brussels for the signing ceremony, which is scheduled for noon local time (1000 GMT).”The Canada-EU Summit will be Sunday. Great news and I’m looking forward to being there,” Trudeau said on Twitter.The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which backers say will boost bilateral trade by 20 percent, appeared to be in trouble after Belgium’s French-speaking Wallonia region raised a series of late objections.All 28 EU governments back CETA but Belgium’s central government had been prevented from giving consent because it needed approval from sub-federal authorities.After Belgian politicians …
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