Paris: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the European lawmakers on Thursday that the relationship between his country and the EU went beyond trade deals and was rooted in their shared values.
Trudeau was addressing European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, a day after its members voted to ratify the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (Ceta) with Canada following years of negotiations, a decision he commended.
"Ceta is not only about commerce, imports and exports, about profits. It aims to improve people's lives," said the Canadian Prime Minister.
He went on to say that the European Union and Canada had common aspirations for a better and more secure world, and added that they must collectively lead the international economy and face future challenges together, Efe news reported.
Trudeau acknowledged, however, that for a sizable trade deal like Ceta to succeed, it must benefit the ordinary people and allay the anxieties that many people hold with regard to the modern economy.
"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," he said.
Trudeau offered a warning to members of European Parliament: "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."
Trudeau pressed on the subject, saying that for Canada, an EU voice on the world stage was not just preferable but essential.
Trudeau was the first-ever Canadian Prime Minister to address European Parliament.
After Strasbourg, Trudeau was scheduled to head to Germany, where he is to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Published Date: Feb 16, 2017 18:51 PM | Updated Date: Feb 16, 2017 18:51 PM