European Parliament Approves CETA

Trudeau's speech came a day after MEPs gave a landmark free trade deal - known as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (Ceta) - between the European Union and Canada the green light.

"Part of the Brexit package is going to be some sort of strategy as to how Britain can preserve the benefits it has obtained through the European Union free trade agreements", Catrain said.

The European Parliament approved a landmark free-trade agreement with Canada, shoring up Europe's market-opening clout in the face of a populist surge across the continent and U.S. President Donald Trump's protectionist tilt. And while Trump continuously was mentioned as the bad guy - from both sides - with regard to Trudeau's government, one Finnish member of Parliament said: "You know, Canada is a nice country and Trudeau is a nice guy".

He added: "You are a vital player in addressing the challenges that we collectively face as an global community".

"Trade needs to work for people", said Trudeau, addressing concerns that worldwide trade agreements would mainly benefit multinationals and could affect people´s jobs.

The free trade agreement between the European Parliament and Canada has entered into force.

Trudeau said after the signing ceremony that "the work is just beginning".

While some had hoped that the demise of the TPP and the resistance mounted in Wallonia was shifting momentum away from massive corporate-driven trade deals like CETA, opponents of the deal say the fight will simply continue at the regional level.

"Make no mistake about it, this is an important moment", he said.

The prime minister hinted the deal could be a blueprint for future trade deals with other nations, raising prospects of a UK-Canada trade deal following Brexit.

At a press conference after his speech, when asked about his recent visit to the White House, Trudeau said that while there may be differences in "perspective or ideology", he believed the United States shared the same goals. But I was very heartened by Commissioner Malstrom's comments in relation to beef, her awareness of the concerns by the Irish and the French, her commitment to outlining for us how she will put in place safeguards when this agreement actually kicks in.

Ceta will take effect provisionally this year.

"Collectively, we believe in democracy, transparency, and the rule of law".

On Friday, he'll be in Berlin for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who wasn't shy about reminding Trump the day after his surprise victory that Germany and the USA were "bound" by common values and that she looked forward to working with him on that basis.

  • Leroy Wright