BRUSSELS – The European Union is urging member states to show leadership and publicly back a new trade deal with Canada after taking the unusual step of allowing national parliaments to ratify the pact.
EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said Tuesday that the deal, known by its acronym CETA, is the most ambitious the bloc has concluded and would boost growth and jobs in Europe.
Austria, Belgium, France and Germany have doubts about the deal. The U.K. has been a major backer, but the vote there to leave the EU has added weight to calls for the pact to be endorsed by all member countries.
Malmstroem said only EU trade ministers and the European Parliament must legally ratify CETA but that given the "general malaise," the Commission is consulting nations as well.