One day after the European Parliament approved the EU-Canada trade agreement (CETA), the Liberal Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau travelled to Strasbourg to address the European Parliament on Thursday 16 February. This was the first time a Canadian Prime Minister gave a speech in the European Parliament plenary. Justin Trudeau is also the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, member of our partner organisation Liberal International.
“Trade needs to work for people,” said Trudeau, addressing concerns that international trade agreements would mainly benefit multinationals and could affect people's jobs. “We live in a time when many people are worried that the current system only benefits society’s luckiest few. And their concern is valid,” he said. “This anxiety towards the economy and trade can be addressed only if we ensure that trade is inclusive so that everyone benefits. And CETA delivers just that."
Speaking about CETA, Trudeau highlighted the opportunities that the EU-Canada agreement could create: "It’s a complete action plan to ensure economic and responsible cooperation between countries."
'Trade needs to work for people, who will support trade when it creates wealth and makes their lives more affordable' @JustinTrudeau— Marietje Schaake (@MarietjeSchaake) February 16, 2017
He also said that CETA would make commerce and job creation easier and would also ensure that governments would still be able to protect their citizens, the environment and food safety and good practices in investment..
“With CETA, together we have built something. Something important. Especially at this moment, on your continent and mine”, he said. “If we are successful, CETA will become the blueprint for all ambitious, future trade deals. If we are not, this could very well be one of the last."
On EU-Canada relations, the Canadian Prime Minister praised the relationship between his country and the EU as "a natural, easy relationship grounded in what we have in common” and said: “In these times, we must choose to lead the international economy, not simply be subject to its whims."
Trudeau also singled out the EU as a model. "The European Union is a truly remarkable achievement, and an unprecedented model for peaceful cooperation," he said: "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."
Source: European Parliament