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European Parliament ratifies Canada trade deal at long last

16 February 2017

Protests marked the vote, with about 700 people marching outside parliament to voice their opposition to the deal.

Anti-globalisation activists dressed in surgical masks blocked the entrance to the parliament building, before being dragged off by riot police.

"Dump CETA, not justice", said one banner.

Officials say Trudeau is more than aware that the 2016 St. Matthew's keynote speaker was former British prime minister David Cameron, who used his speech to outline his plan for countering his country's Brexit movement to leave the EU.

"This is a deal for the people", International Trade Minister Francois Philippe Champagne said after the vote, explaining that CETA would benefit consumers by offering more choice of goods at lower costs. Opponents to the accord, which is known as CETA, slam the deal as a danger to health, democracy and the rule of law. Trade and investment agreements, that often lack transparency in the negotiation process, have human consequences, and must be evaluated with regard to the effects that they have on the poor and all of God's Creation.

The agreement was celebrated by some as a victory for global free trade in the face of growing United States protectionism under the government of Donald Trump.

In response to European parliamentary pressure, the controversial investor-state-dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism was replaced by the Investment Court System (ICS), which aims to ensure government control over the choice of arbitrators and enhances transparency.

The deal was not resoundingly endorsed by the European Union parliament, with 58 percent of its members supporting CETA after a boisterous debate that saw tempers flare repeatedly.

Should the BSP emerge sufficiently strongly after Bulgaria's March 26 2017 National Assembly elections, it would block Bulgaria's ratification of CETA, Ninova said.

"But the deal's European Union negotiator, Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem te in the public interest".

"By adopting CETA, we chose openness and growth and high standards over protectionism and stagnation", declared the European Parliament's CETA rapporteur Artis Pabriks, who's also a member of the EP for Latvia, after Wednesday's vote.

Since the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement came into force in 1989, two-way trade in goods and services between the two countries has more than tripled. Trudeau met with Trump on February 13 in Washington.

European Parliament ratifies Canada trade deal at long last