Just a few months ago, anti-globalization activists in Europe seemed to have the upper hand in the highly charged debate over the European Union’s trade deal with Canada, known as CETA.
In September, there were mass protests in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, against CETA and the even more controversial TTIP trade talks with the United States. A month later, CETA nearly collapsed over the opposition of Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium.
Canada’s trade minister at the time, Chrystia Freeland, walked out of talks in frustration and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called off a trip to Europe.
But the sentiment in Europe toward CETA has changed markedly since the fall. The European Parliament approved CETA by a wide margin on Wednesday in a clear rebuke to the rising protectionist sentiment on both sides of the Atlantic.