Pettigrew tapped to help push through EU trade deal

Ottawa | Reuters — Canada has named a former politician with experience in trade and foreign affairs as the government’s new envoy to help complete its long-negotiated free trade agreement with the European Union, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Pierre Pettigrew, who served as both minister of foreign affairs and minister for international trade under previous Liberal governments, has been named envoy for the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a spokeswoman for Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland said.

Pettigrew’s “deep understanding of Europe, trade and business will be instrumental in getting CETA signed this year and ratified in 2017,” Freeland said in a release.

Ratification for CETA is facing some hurdles after the EU gave Europe’s national parliaments the right to ratify the deal, which raises the risk it will not be implemented.

Britain’s decision to leave the EU has also created some uncertainty around the pact and means Britain may have to renegotiate separately.

The role of CETA envoy, a volunteer position, will be Pettigrew’s for one year, the government said Wednesday.

Reporting for Reuters by Leah Schnurr. Includes files from AGCanada.com Network staff.

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