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Prime Minister Stephen Harper, left, shakes hands with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso at a meeting in Brussels on Oct. 18, 2013. The two are slated to sign a 1,500-page trade agreement in late September.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, left, shakes hands with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso at a meeting in Brussels on Oct. 18, 2013. The two are slated to sign a 1,500-page trade agreement in late September.
(ADRIAN WYLD/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Canada-EU trade deal has hit a hurdle, not a wall

First, Germany expressed reservations about parts of the Canada-Europe free trade deal.

Now, European Union lawmakers are threatening to block the agreement outright.

The Greens and other left-wing parties are objecting to any trade deal that contains so-called Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions. ISDS allows companies to sue governments when they believe their trade rights have been violated. But critics say the system gives multinationals too much power – a concern that would magnified if the Canadian agreement becomes a model for the EU-U.S. free trade agreement, which is also being negotiated.