13:14 GMT01 October 2020
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    The European Parliament Committee on International Trade has approved the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the EU Parliament said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The committee voted in favor with a margin of 25 votes to 15, according to the statement.

    "The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which aims to boost goods and services trade and investment flows, was approved by the International Trade Committee on Tuesday. The full House is to vote on the deal in February," the parliament said in a statement.

    Artis Pabriks, a lawmaker who reports on CETA to parliament, stressed that the deal acts as a counterweight to the recent tide of protectionism and populism engulfing Europe and North America.

    "Parliament is able and willing to act on behalf of European citizens," Pabriks was quoted as saying in the statement.

    CETA aims to establish a free trade zone between Canada and the European Union, though it has been criticized in Europe. Opponents fear it would undermine standards and regulations on environmental protection, health, safety and workers' rights.

    The deal was signed in late 2016 by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. The deal now awaits EU ratification. The European Commission, pressured by France and Germany, has stated that the agreement would also have to be ratified by all 28 EU member states as well as the European parliament.

    On Monday, Trump signed an executive order pulling out of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal, thus, raising uncertainty over the future of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal between the EU and the US.


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