TRUDEAU BECOMES FIRST CANADIAN PM TO ADDRESS EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, ARGUES FOR FREE TRADE

Feb 16, 2017

By Jane Brown

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has delivered his much-anticipated address to the European Parliament today, where he argued in favour of free trade.

The prime minister’s pro-trade, anti-protectionist message to the European lawmakers in Strasbourg, France came a day after they voted to ratify the Canada-EU free trade deal.

Trudeau explained that CETA is not just important for Canada and the EU, but for the world.

“If we are successful, CETA will become the blueprint for all ambitious future trade deals. If we are not, this could well be one of the last. So make no mistake about it, this is an important moment,” Trudeau explained.

Trudeau is the first Canadian prime minister to address the legislature for the European Union, and his speech is expected to be a boost for the alliance after last summer’s pro-Brexit vote that has sparked the historic and protracted divorce negotiation between Britain and the EU.

Canada’s Parliament is expected to ratify the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement in the coming months.

Federal foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland meantime, is meeting with her counterparts from the Group of 20 leading industrialized and emerging economies. They are opening two days of talks in Bonn, Germany today with a focus on global development.

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