EU-Canada near trade deal

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s parliament is set to approve a landmark trade deal with Canada, with the bloc’s executive extolling the pact as a sign of international cooperation at a time when many political forces, including U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, are trying to halt globalization.

Hundreds of protesters were outside the EU parliament building in Strasbourg, France, arguing Tuesday that instead of growth and jobs, such a deal will erode the bloc’s environmental, labor and consumer standards.

EU trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom tried to assuage concerns that the deal uniting the markets of 500 million Europeans with 35 million Canadians would cut into the independence of EU decision-making. She said it “will not change food safety standards or any other EU requirements, only the EU institutions can do that.”