The European Parliament approved a landmark free-trade agreement with Canada, shoring up Europe’s market-opening clout in the face of a populist surge across the continent and U.S. President Donald Trump’s protectionist tilt.
The European Union assembly’s endorsement of the first EU commercial deal with a fellow member of the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations paves the way for it to take provisional effect once the Canadian Senate gives its green light, expected within weeks. EU governments and Canada’s House of Commons have already given their approval.
The EU Parliament backed the pact by a vote of 408 to 254 on Wednesday in Strasbourg, France, fending off a veto drive by far-left and far-right European parties that have echoed Trump’s criticism of globalization.
“This is Europe’s answer to Trump’s trade policy,” said Manfred Weber, German head of the Christian Democrats in the 28-nation assembly. “Instead of protectionism, we want partnership. Instead of fear and mistrust of each other, we want openness and even stronger ties with one of our closest allies.”