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Canada walks out of EU trade talks with Wallonia

Friday, October 21, 2016 9:23
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Canada’s trade minister walked out of talks with Belgium’s French-speaking regional government in the Wallonia capital Namur on Friday as the two sides were no nearer agreeing a Canada-European Union trade deal.

Chrystia Freeland said: “It seems obvious for me, and Canada, that the EU is not able to have an international agreement even with a country which has such European values as Canada, and even with a country so kind, and so patient as Canada”.

The stalled Canadian deal, known as Ceta, was supposed to set new standards for global trade. But Belgium cannot sign the treaty without regional support and after 7 years of hammering out the deal, Wallonia has decided it wants amendments.

Many observers also see this as a possible hurdle in future talks between the UK and EU as the trading bloc’s reputation has been tarnished by the legal technicality.

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