PLANT

EU trade talks will relaunch in September to complete deal, Fast says

All that is needed is some flexibility on each side to complete a deal this year, trade minister says.


OTTAWA – Canada’s trade minister says negotiations with the European Union are re-launching early next month in a final push to complete a free-trade deal.

International Trade Minister Ed Fast says the two sides are re-engaging in early September after the end of the August vacation period in Europe.

The minister says the two sides are very close and all that is needed is some flexibility on each side to complete a deal this year.

Fast spoke by telephone from Brunei, where he and other trade ministers in the TransPacific Partnership will meet for two days to provide a political push for the 19th and possibly final round of negotiations of the 12-nation group.

He also met his counterparts in the 10-nation ASEAN group of countries.

Fast says Canada is proceeding on all fronts to create as broad a network of trading partners as is possible, given that the Doha round of talks at the World Trade Organization has stalled.

Canada is currently involved in various negotations that would cover a significant portion of the global trading system, he said.

©The Canadian Press