EU-Canada trade deal moves closer to final approval

Belgian politicians agreed to a deal Thursday to support a free trade agreement between the European Union and Canada after overcoming opposition from one region in Belgium, paving the way for the signing of a landmark deal within days.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel told reporters the agreement was reached after the Socialist-controlled, French-speaking region of Wallonia decided to join Belgium’s other regional parliaments and give its approval.

Wallonia agreed to support the trans-Atlantic trade deal after guarantees were provided for farmers and on a corporate dispute settlement system. The revised deal will go through Belgium’s regional legislatures by Friday night.

The agreement is a big relief to EU leaders, who have been negotiating the pact with Canada for seven years.

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