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BRUSSELS—Canada and the European Union are set to finalize a landmark free trade agreement that they hope will boost growth and employment.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on Friday are expected to hash out final details in Brussels before announcing the tentative deal following four years of negotiations.
The agreement would make it easier for Canadian companies to invest in, and sell to, the 28-member EU and its 500 million consumers and vice versa. The deal will lower tariffs across the board, streamline regulation and cut red tape that hampers sales.
The European Union, a $17 trillion economy, is Canada’s second-largest trading partner behind the U.S. The deal would also help reducing the dependence of Canada’s $1.8 trillion economy on the U.S. market.