Canada and EU hopeful for CETA deal in spite of Belgian Blockade.


The free trade agreement between Canada and Europe which was set to fail may succeed as both parties have expressed hope towards a resolution.

Donald Tusk, the EU council President announced that it was possible that CETA – the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement- would go on in spite of the blockade caused by Wallonia, a traditionally socialist region from Belgium.

The EU needs the consent of all 28 member states while making a deal, Belgium was unable to provide so because they had not received the consent from the parliament of Wallonia, a French speaking region from Belgium.

The trade deal aims at getting rid of 99% of the tariff on trade between the countries of EU and Canada. It is the most ambitious deal done by the EU yet. The EU is also looking at the implementation and carrying out of the deal as a model for the way Brexit would be handled in the near future.

At this point in time 27 of the 28 countries are backing the deal. The hopes of the agreement being signed were dashed on Monday when Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel provided the information that there was no unanimous approval for the deal from his country’s governing bodies.

Mr. Tusk however remains hopeful. He tweeted on Monday, saying that he along with the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thinks that the summit on Thursday would be possible. He said that there was yet time for all parties to find a solution.

The trade deal between Canada and the EU has been in development since 2009. Canada’s minister for international trade, Chrystia Freeland said that while she remained hopeful that the deal could be saved, the ball was in Europe’s court.

The EU commission had previously asked the Belgium to make its decision by Monday but declared that they don’t have the authority to provide deadlines to any member state. They declared that patience was now required to make sure that the deal was signed.