MEPs are expected to approve Ceta, the EU-Canada trade agreement, on Wednesday (15 February), amid concerns about the US administration’s trade protectionism.
“I’m grateful for [US president] Trump. His attitude toward global trade opened the eyes, and urged sceptics to think twice,” Artis Pabriks, a centre-right Latvian MEP and the parliament’s rapporteur for Ceta, told this website.
The new US president has pulled out from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) with 11 countries and has been an opponent of TTIP, the EU-US trade deal under discussion.
“It’s a litmus test for the future of European Union,” Pabriks said, adding that it will show whether Europeans “are willing to join those who preach protectionism, who are willing build walls, who are willing to look inwards, or if [they] are the ones who want to go forward, it is the only way to go out of these challenges”.
Pabriks also argued that if Ceta fails, it would be difficult for the EU to conclude any other free trade agreement.
As Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau travels to Strasbourg to deliver a speech on Thursday (16 February), the EU and Canada are eager to show they still promote open and free global trade…
Read more : EUObserver, 15.02.2017