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Opinion

A Friday to remember: Surprise Wallonia defence hurts Canada’s chances of clinching historic CETA victory

By Omar Allam      

Canadian exporters will need to base their European strategy on the fact that things will never be the same. Every company with interests in these markets will need to assess the impacts of CETA, Brexit, and the outcome of the U.S. election on their commercial operations and overall international strategy. If you haven’t done this already; your competitors have.

Chrystia Freeland Trade Minister, Canada's chief trade negotiator Steve Verheul, and European Parliament President Martin Schulz discussing the Canada-EU trade agreement in Brussels back in April 2016. Photograph courtesy of the EU Parliament

Last week, Canada’s International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland was driving Canada’s offense through the EU’s red zone with sights set high on a touchdown to bring the Canada-EU Free Trade Agreement (CETA) home. With the clock winding down in the 4th quarter, Belgium’s province of Wallonia made a defensive move that Canada (and the European Parliament) wasn’t prepared for. With no timeouts and no other plays in their offensive playbook, Canada got sacked for a loss.

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