For Canada, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the EU is important to reduce its reliance on the neighboring United States as an export market
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives to adress the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, February 16, 2017. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler , photo: Reuters/Vincent Kessler
16 of February 2017 13:53:51
STRASBOURG – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised the European Union on Thursday as an unprecedented model for peaceful cooperation, in a speech to EU lawmakers that contrasted sharply with the critical stance of U.S. President Donald Trump.Speaking to the European Parliament a day after it backed a comprehensive free trade deal between Canada and the EU known as CETA, Trudeau said the 28-nation bloc had a crucial global role to play.By contrast, Trump has questioned the value and future of the EU and has applauded Britain's shock decision to leave it."You are a vital player in addressing the challenges that we collectively face as an international community ... Indeed the whole world benefits from a strong EU," Trudeau told delighted EU lawmakers in his speech, delivered in English and French.Canada and the EU share a belief in democracy, transparency and the rule of law, human rights, inclusion and diversity, said Trudeau, who is also due to visit Germany on his European tour."We know that, in these times, we must choose to lead the international economy, not simply be subject to its whims," he added.CETA AS MODEL TO TRUMP?With the passage of their trade deal, Canada and the EU offer a counter to Trump, who has withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and wants to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).Trump told Trudeau in talks in Washington on Monday that the United States would only be "tweaking" its trade ties with Canada.For Canada, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the EU is important to reduce its reliance on the neighboring United States as an export market.