Europe’s Anti-Trump, Pro-Trade Backlash

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    If U.S. President Donald Trump goes too far in his protectionist rhetoric, he could push the European Union to seek free trade agreements with other regions of the world.

  • Facts


    • There was massive popular opposition to the E.U.-Canada trade deal in the fall, particularly in Germany.
    • The European Parliament approved the E.U.-Canada trade deal by a margin of 408 to 254 with 33 abstentions.
    • The most sensitive parts of the trade deal still have to be approved by the national parliaments of the E.U. member states, a process that could take years.
  • Audio


  • Pdf
Proteste gegen CETA in Straßburg
CETA still has plenty of critics, but they are running out of steam. Source: DPA

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.

Want to keep reading?

Subscribe now or log in to read our coverage of Europe’s leading economy.