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EU and Canada sign landmark free trade deal

Staff Writer |
The European Union (EU) and Canada signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA, on Sunday.

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European Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker together with Robert Fico, Prime Minister of Slovakia which is holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU, signed the long-delayed free trade deal with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a ceremony held in Brussels.

The signing ceremony planned for Thursday was cancelled after a Belgian region opposed to sign the deal.

The EU, a bloc with 500 million people, can only sign the deal with consent of all member states.

All 28 EU states gave the "green light" to the deal on Friday when Belgian regional parliaments reached consensus.

The CETA would remove more than 99 percent of tariffs that were currently imposed on trade between the EU and Canada and was expected to increase bilateral trade by 12 billion euros (about 13.2 billion U.S. dollars) per year, said the EU.

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