Despite political opposition in Europe, the Union and Canada finally signed a trade agreement this Sunday, according to which both sides will open their markets for more competition.
The trade agreement can be considered a great accomplishment, as it overcame the continuously growing concerns regarding the effectiveness of globalization.
In this case, the obstacle for the trade agreement was a French-speaking region of Belgium called Wallonia, which previously had suffered from deindustrialization, and was afraid of weaker bargaining power for their farmers. Wallonia used their veto power to block the trade deal earlier this month, but withdrew its veto this Friday, after the Belgian government took measures with promises to protect local farmers from potential unfair competition.
Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington weighed on the news saying, “In the end, people who favor free trade survived to fight another day... Now that we see the Canadian deal has made it over the finish line, the Atlantic trade deal still has a fighting chance... But it won’t be easy. T.T.I.P. could similarly threaten traditional farming interests and arouse knee-jerk European suspicions about common trans-Atlantic health and environmental standards.”