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The leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group in the EP, Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE Group - LI full-member) commented on the vote: "By backing the free trade agreement with Canada today, we have shown that the European Union is a credible and reliable trading partner. President Trump has given us another good reason to intensify our links with Canada - while Trump introduces tariffs, we are not only tearing them down but also setting the highest progressive standards.”
Commissioner Malmstrom echoed Mr Verhofstadt's conclusions, adding: “This vote is the start of a new era in EU-Canada relations. By building bridges rather than walls, we can face the challenges that confront our societies together. In these uncertain times, with rising protectionism around the world, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) underlines our strong commitment to sustainable trade.”
Praising the CETA agreement as the "blueprint for future trade deals", the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, addressed Members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg following the vote saying: "We can't understate how important it was to get this deal right.The anxiety people have towards the economy and trade — the worry that our kids won't have access to the same jobs and opportunities that we had — can be addressed only if we ensure that trade is inclusive, so that everyone benefits. And this agreement … delivers just that." Trudeau, who is also a leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, is the first sitting Canadian prime minister to have addressed the EU legislature.
Commissioner Malmstrom delivered the 2016 LI Isaiah Berlin Lecture on the purpose and efficiency of international trade where she debated at length the importance of free trade for the performance of the global economy.