Agricultural issues stalling Canada-Europe trade deal, EU official says

OTTAWA – A high-ranking European official says only agricultural issues stand in the way of a Canada-European Union trade deal.

Matthias Brinkmann, EU’s ambassador to Canada, said Thursday that most other issues are ready or close to ready for signing, but the two sides are still apart on agriculture.

He says the EU is ready to agree to allow 40,000 tons of beef imports, the minimum Canadian producers said would be required.

But he says Canada is insisting on more, without giving a specific figure.

Brinkmann says in return Europe must be allowed to ship more dairy products to Canada.

Canadian Trade Minister Ed Fast confirmed the two sides are close to a deal, but would not give specifics.