The European Union and Canada signed a free trade agreement (SETA) at the summit in Brussels. The prospects of the agreement was under threat because of the protests of the French-speaking part of Belgium, but the differences failed to take off after negotiations.
Sunday at the EU-Canada their signatures under the document were put by the President of the European Council Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau. The document provides for the abolition of 99% of customs duties between the parties and provides for a regime of pre-action that will allow you to enter into force before ratification by the parliaments of all 28 EU countries and Canada, and the European Parliament.
“Today is an important day for Europe. The signing of SETH confirms the EU’s commitment to the ideals of free trade. We currently are continuing to negotiate similar 21 agreement,” said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
SETH is regarded in the EU as a prototype for a much larger free trade agreement between the EU and US – the TTIP, the negotiations were virtually suspended due to strong resistance, in particular, from the European farmers.
Signing SET for about a month blocked the Belgian French-speaking Walloon region. On Thursday talks between the government of the region, the Belgian Federal government and the European Commission, the parties were able to reach an agreement that allowed us to remove the objections of the Walloons. Juncker in that regard, it was stressed that the agreed text of the document no changes were made.
Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau came to the summit on the second attempt when his plane was forced to return to Ottawa because of a technical fault. The summit was postponed for four hours.