Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, centre, signs the trade deal with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, left, and European Council president Donald Tusk, right. Photo: AP
Brussels: The European Union and Canada signed a far-reaching trade agreement on Sunday that commits them to opening their markets to greater competition, after overcoming a last-minute political obstacle that reflected the growing scepticism toward globalisation in much of the developed world.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had been forced to call off an earlier trip to sign the deal after Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium, used its veto to withhold Belgian approval of the deal. The pact required the support of all 28 signatory countries.
Mr Trudeau signed the pact on Sunday, joined by Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, which represents the leaders of the member states; Prime Minister Robert Fico of Slovakia, which holds the rotating presidency of the body that runs the bloc’s ministerial meetings; and Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm. Continue reading