EU Canada trade deal clears big hurdle in EU parliament

BRUSSELS _ The trade agreement between the European Union and Canada has cleared a big hurdle in the EU’s parliament when the trade committee backed the deal and prepared it for full ratification next month.

After the deal was signed in October, it still needs ratification by the EU’s Parliament. The trade committee backed it by a 25-15 margin with one abstention on Tuesday. The full legislature will vote on it next month.

The EU says the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement will remove almost all tariffs and boost trade with Canada by 12 billion euros ($13.2 billion) a year, creating growth and jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. It insists the deal won’t prevent governments from moving to protect environmental and social standards if they believe action is needed.