Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Merkel vows ‘speedy’ work to snag Canada-EU trade deal

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel takes part in a news conference with Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Parliament Hill in Ottawa August 16, 2012.


Angela Merkel says she will personally work to ensure negotiations on an ambitious Canada-E.U. trade deal come to a "speedy" conclusion.

Speaking on Parliament Hill following a morning meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the German Chancellor gave Canada the assurances on trade that the Conservative government had been hoping for.

Mr. Harper has promised to conclude negotiations before the end of the year.

Story continues below advertisement

Rather than using the ongoing euro crisis as an excuse for delaying the talks, the Chancellor argued that a wide-ranging agreement is just what's needed to provide an economic boost.

The Chancellor said the trade deal will probably be the broadest one that the E.U. has ever signed, and that while there are still outstanding issues related to recognizing professional qualifications, regulatory cooperation and tariffs, she will work to resolve the remaining hurdles.

"There are a number of outstanding issues out there but once I go back to Germany I will see to it that these negotiations come to a speedy conclusion because at a time when there is a lack of growth in the world, we, Canada and Germany, are convinced that free trade is one of the best engines of growth that we can have," she said.

The Chancellor is facing growing internal pressure within Germany to take a harder line on states that are not living up to promises of austerity made in exchange for past bailouts from the European Union's main creditor nations.

Ms. Merkel spoke strongly in favour of preserving the euro, stating that Germany will do "everything we can" to maintain the common currency.

Germany's advocacy of spending restraint in the euro zone is also facing populist "austerity fatigue" and there are growing calls for a new approach that is more focused on growth.

The Chancellor said Thursday that Canada's economic policy – which included stimulus during the recession followed by government-wide spending cuts – is a "tested and proven" approach that can serve as a model to others.

Story continues below advertisement

Both Mr. Harper and Ms. Merkel said that Canada's decision not to make new pledges to the International Monetary Fund that could be used to bail out Europe will not have any detrimental impact on the trade talks.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

A member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery since 1999, Bill Curry worked for The Hill Times and the National Post prior to joining The Globe in Feb. 2005. Originally from North Bay, Ont., Bill reports on a wide range of topics on Parliament Hill, with a focus on finance. More


The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Please note that our commenting partner Civil Comments is closing down. As such we will be implementing a new commenting partner in the coming weeks. As of December 20th, 2017 we will be shutting down commenting on all article pages across our site while we do the maintenance and updates. We understand that commenting is important to our audience and hope to have a technical solution in place January 2018.

Discussion loading… ✨