It’s up to the European Union to get its members on board with the Canada-EU trade agreement. Canada has done its part.
That was the message from Canada’s trade and agriculture ministers on Monday.
“Canada has done its job. The negotiations between Canada and the EU are finished,” says Lawrence MacAulay, minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, on RealAg Radio on Monday. “It’s time for the EU to finish the job and put it together. It’s good for Canada and it’s good for the EU, but they have to get their act together.”
Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland also spoke to reporters on Parliament Hill after returning from Europe where she walked out of a meeting in Belgium on Friday. Wallonia — a region in Belgium — is blocking the deal, and the Belgian government requires regional approval before it can give its thumbs-up to the agreement at the EU level.
“Today, all the Europeans, including the Walloons, have publicly accepted that Canada’s job is done,” Freeland said on Monday. “Canada is ready to sign CETA but the ball is in Europe’s court and it’s time for Europe to do its job.”
Prime Minister Trudeau was scheduled to visit Brussels for a signing summit on Thursday. Both Freeland and MacAulay indicated Canada will still be ready to sign if the EU has the required approval from its members.
MacAulay joined the inaugural broadcast of RealAg Radio on Monday for a wide-ranging interview on the Canada-EU trade deal, the federal carbon tax proposal, grain transportation, the development of a national food strategy and more:
Catch RealAg Radio on Rural Radio Channel 147 on SiriusXM weekdays at 4pm eastern!