Trudeau and EU officials to finally ink trade deal at Brussels summit

BRUSSELS, 30th October, 2016 (WAM) — Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, will join EU officials in Brussels today to sign the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, CETA, which aims to lift trade barriers and ease the flow of goods between Canada and the European Union.

German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur, DPA, reported that Trudeau will be joined by European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in signing the deal at a ceremony scheduled for 12 p.m. (11:00 GMT).

The future of CETA was shrouded in uncertainty over the past week amid opposition from Belgium’s struggling southern region of Wallonia, which needed to give its blessing in order for Belgium to approve the deal.

Walloon lawmakers initially rejected CETA at a regional parliamentary vote on October 14th, but Belgian negotiators achieved a breakthrough with the French-speaking region on Thursday, and Walloon lawmakers subsequently approved the deal on Friday.

CETA will only provisionally take effect once it is approved by the European Parliament, which is expected to vote on the deal in December or January.

Several other topics will be discussed during the summit, including the conflict in Ukraine, Britain’s pending exit from the EU and the war in Syria, DPA added.