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Canada and the European Union ratified a Free Trade Agreement today opening our markets to the EU countries, free movement of people and goods, etc. I could not be happier with this turn of events. Many years ago as a young diplomat I was involved with NAFTA and explaining to business people how it would work for them and how to use the new agreement. Later in Mexico same thing with the establishment of free trade zones in the North of the country and Canada’s participation in it. It’s all good and that is what I took away from it, the naysayers are uninformed or have their own fantasy agenda.

Canada needs to diversify our trade and this is an excellent and big step forward. It is crucial in these turbulent, chaotic times with our trade partner in the USA that we diversify. Next will probably be a free trade agreement with China but that is in the future.

The EU-Canada or CETA deal will drop barriers between the EU’s economy of half a billion people and Canada’s 35 million. Trade between the two sides amounts to more than 60 billion euros ($63 billion) a year, and the EU expects the so-called CETA deal to boost this by 20 per cent by removing almost all tariffs.

Very good news, it took 7 years of negotiations for this to happen. PM Justin Trudeau is off to address the European Parliament in Strasbourg on this treaty ratification and then off to Berlin to see Chancellor Angela Merkel with whom he shares much in common and speak with top business leaders.

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