February 15, 2017 | Rebecca Coons
The European Parliament has approved a free trade deal with Canada, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The deal was approved by 408 to 254 votes, with 33 abstentions. Following parliamentary approval, the agreement could already provisionally apply from April. European Union-Canada trade accounted for more than €60 billion ($64 billion) in 2015 and CETA is expected to boost this by 20%. The agreement would remove all tariffs between the European Union and Canada, except those charged on public services, audiovisual and transport services, and a few agricultural products. It would also lead to the mutual recognition of certifications for a wide range of products. The vote was welcomed by Germany's chemical industry association VCI (Frankfurt).