OTTAWA, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Canada and the 28 member nations of the European Union agreed to a free trade deal after seven years of negotiations and the matter is expected to be signed Sunday.
The deal, known as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada, or CETA, was first broached seven years ago under the Conservative Canadian government led by former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Trudeau's Liberal government ushered its implementation across the goal line, though not without some last-second drama.
The deal will require the ratification of a majority of the 751 members of the EU Parliament from the 28 EU member states. One voting bloc, the French-speaking Wallonia region of Belgium expressed reservations at the last moment, forcing negotiators to craft an addendum to the overall trade agreement to address concerns that Belgian farmers will be forced to compete against Canadian imports.
Trudeau tweeted the final agreement had been reached Friday and called it "great news."
Prime Minister Robert Fico of Slovakia, who holds the rotating EU presidency, called it "a milestone in the EU's trade policy."