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EU Parliament OKs free trade deal with Canada

Staff Writer | February 16, 2017
The European Union's Parliament approved a free trade deal with Canada as several hundred protesters demonstrated outside the building in Strasbourg.
EU Parliament
Trade   The EU exported $39 billion to Canada
Lawmakers approved the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, 408-254, after seven years of negotiations. Abstaining were 33 members.

CETA will remove 99 percent of customs duties between the two sides, benefiting European exporters.

In 2016, the EU exported $39 billion of goods and services to Canada and imported $30 billion, according to Statistics Canada.

The deal will increase bilateral trade in goods and services by more than 20 percent, according to a joint EU-Canada study.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said the deal would not cut into the independence of EU decision-making as alleged.

She said it would "not change food safety standards or any other EU requirements, only the EU institutions can do that."