Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed on Thursday the European Parliament, highlighting the importance of the relationship between Canada and the European Union, as well as urging the union to remain strong to benefit the international community.
Trudeau’s speech was the first among sitting prime ministers of Canada to address concerns to the Parliament. The Canadian Prime Minister’s speech focused on helping the middle class of the society and improving the overall relations between the Canadian and European people.
“We live in a time when some people are worried that the current system only benefits society’s narrow elite. And their concern is valid. This anxiety towards the economy and trade – the worry that our kids won’t have access to the same jobs and opportunities that we have – can be addressed only if we ensure that trade is inclusive, and that everyone benefits,” stated Trudeau.
He also strongly approved of the free trade deal passed between Canada and EU called the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The trade has the possibility to improve the well-being of the nations’ citizens, with the cost of living made more affordable.
“Today’s vote is an exciting milestone on the way to bringing the benefits of these progressive free trade and partnership agreements to Canadians and Europeans. These agreements set the stage for an even stronger relationship with the EU, which will create greater opportunities for the middle class on both sides of the Atlantic,” added Trudeau.
CETA was first introduced in the House of Commons on October 31, 2016, which was passed after the third reading in the House of Commons recently this February 14, 2017. With the approval of CETA, trade tariffs will be removed, however, some economists believe that there is a possibility for the deal to erode hard-won welfare as well as environmental safeguards.
It was signed by Trudeau, President of the European Council Donald Tusk, and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Junker during the European Union-Canada Leader’s Summit last October 30.
The Parliament also voted for an approval towards the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA), which allows for a stronger cooperative relations between Canada and the EU on a wide range of issues, including human rights, international peace and security, and the environment.
Meanwhile, some of Trudeau’s statements opposed US President Donald Trump’s agenda to pass the liberal free trade, putting ‘America first’.
At present, Trump plans to discuss the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between US, Canada, and Mexico. Trump previously nitpicked EU’s position in trade relations among leading nations.
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