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10/30/16

Canada-EU Trade Deal: Trudeau says work is 'just beginning' on Canada-EU free trade deal - by Mike Blanchfield,

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revelled in a long-awaited moment Sunday -- signing Canada's free trade deal with the European Union, but not before recognizing the challenges ahead to bring it fully into force.

Trudeau expressed hope that the so-called provisional application of the deal -- approval only by the Canadian and European parliaments but not Europe's 28 states and myriad regional governments -- might happen within months.

That, said Trudeau, would result in 98 per cent of the deal coming into force. That's much higher than the 90-per cent estimate that most European and Canadian officials have said would accompany provisional application of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement,

Trudeau had initially expected to sign the deal in Brussels days ago, but the restive Belgian region of Wallonia nearly killed it because its opposition to the pact's investor-state dispute settlement mechanism gave it a veto under Belgium's complicated constitution.

After seven arduous years of negotiation, Trudeau joined presidents of the European Council and European Commission, Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker, and signed the massive 1,600-page pact and its accompanying strategic partnership agreement.

The road to full ratification remains long. After Trudeau and his EU counterparts took a moment Sunday to revel in the milestone, the prime minister was willing to acknowledge it would take more than ceremony to fully ratify the deal.

"The work is only just beginning right now," Trudeau said.

"It's not just signing the accords, as difficult and important as that is. It's about the followup, that we continue to demonstrate and give tools to small and medium sized businesses."

Read moreL Trudeau says work is 'just beginning' on Canada-EU free trade deal | CTV News

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