March 21, 2017 12:43 pm

EU expects Canada to ratify CETA in coming weeks, official says

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and European Council President Donald Tusk attend the signing ceremony of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), at the European Council in Brussels, Belgium, October 30, 2016.

Reuters/Francois Lenoir

OTTAWA – The European Union’s trade chief says she expects Canada to ratify a landmark free trade agreement within weeks.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom says she expects the Canada-EU pact to stand as an example of the merits of free trade for the protectionist Donald Trump administration in Washington.

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Despite Trump’s anti-trade rhetoric, Malmstrom says there is still hope of a U.S.-EU free deal because Trump hasn’t formally declared the negotiations dead, unlike the Trans-Pacific Partnership which he pulled the U.S. out of in January.

READ MORE: Trudeau says CETA will benefit all Canadians, experts not so sure

Malmstrom says the proposed U.S.-EU free trade deal has flown under the radar of fractious U.S. politics.

She also praised Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a successful visit to Washington last month, saying it promoted “global interests,” not just Canada’s.

Malmstrom is in Ottawa for meetings with Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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