The Prime Minister of Belgium and other political leaders have reached a consensus supporting the proposed trade deal between Canada and the European Union. The French-speaking region of Wallonia was primarily responsible for holding up the deal. Officials in the Socialist region wanted stronger protections for labor, as well as stronger environmental and consumer standards. The leaders of the different regions in Belgium drew up an addendum that answered additional concerns. Part of the trade agreement involved creating courts to handle disputes between businesses and governments. An article on BBC Dot Com says Wallonia was concerned that would give too much power to multinational entities. They also wanted protections for Wallonia’s farmers, who would now face competition from Canadian imports. Belgian federal law says the country cannot approve any type of deal until the six regional parliaments have all signed off on it. The deal with the Belgians will still have to get approval from the 27 other nations in the European Union.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.