Harper pushes Canada-EU trade pact at G7 leaders’ summit

Agreement in principle has yet to be ratified by Canada and the 28-country European Union.

June 8, 2015   by The Canadian Press

SCHLOSS ELMAU, Germany — Prime Minister Stephen Harper used the opening of the G7 summit to push European leaders to ratify the comprehensive Canada-EU free trade agreement.

Harper’s office said he talked up the trade pact at the G7’s first working session of the day on the fragile global economy.

“Prime Minister Harper encouraged European members of the G7 to swiftly implement the job-creating Canada-EU trade agreement,” his office said in a statement.

Harper met European Council President Donald Tusk, and the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, where he was expected to push the deal.

Harper said nothing about the trade deal going into the meeting, and did not meet with the travelling Canadian media on the first day of the summit, holding two photo-ops that lasted barely a minute in total.

Canada and the EU have an agreement in principle on a sweeping pact in goods and services but the legal text still must be finished so it can be ratified by Canada and the EU’s 28-member countries.

Ratifying the pact, known as CETA, would be a major political win for Harper with the planned Oct. 19 federal election looming.

Harper used a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to push for CETA’s ratification.

“The two leaders discussed the importance of growing the still fragile global economy, including through the timely ratification of the job creating Canada-European Union Trade Agreement,” said Harper’s office.

© 2015 The Canadian Press

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