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Canada Pushing For EU Free Trade Deal

In a step to speed Canada-EU free trade agreement negotiations, the Canadian Government has announced the appointment of an envoy dedicated to progressing talks.

The Government said that the creation of the role of CETA Envoy reflects the high priority it places on signing the CETA this year and implementing it in 2017. Pierre Pettigrew will champion the deal for one year.

Pettigrew will meet with stakeholders in Canada's provinces and territories, and with senior business and government leaders from EU member states.

Pettigrew said: "The Canada-European Union agreement sets a new global standard for trade deals and positions Canada as a trailblazing country defining new international norms. CETA will generate economic opportunities and I am eager to help move this deal forward for Canada."

Minister for International Trade Chrystia Freeland said: "Pettigrew's deep understanding of Europe, trade, and business will be instrumental in getting CETA signed this year and ratified in 2017. He brings with him a lifetime of international experience and a profound dedication to public service. From the day we were sworn in, our government has worked tirelessly to support CETA ratification in Europe."

"Trade means more growth, and more growth means more jobs for our middle class. Our progressive approach to trade got this deal back on track after it was stalled."

In July, European Commission formally proposed the signature and conclusion of CETA. The Commission must obtain support from the European Council and European Parliament. Once this process is complete, the agreement can be provisionally applied. The Commission hopes that the agreement will be signed during the next EU-Canada Summit, which will be held in October.

Upon implementation, Canada will scrap duties worth EUR400m (USD450.97m) for goods originating from the EU. At the end of transitional periods for duty elimination, this figure will rise to EUR590m a year.

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