Austria Won’t Block European Trade Deal With Canada, Kern Says

Austria won’t stand in the way of a planned free-trade agreement between the European Union and Canada, Chancellor Christian Kern said on Friday.

The Alpine nation still demands “clarifications” during the ratification process, Kern told reporters in remarks webcast after a meeting of his Social Democratic Party in Vienna. The pact’s rules for out-of-court arbitration still of special concern, Kern said.

Earlier, the leader of Belgium’s Wallonia region said he won’t give Belgium “full powers” to sign the agreement, known as CETA. The pact would cut trade barriers between the EU’s market of more than 500 million people and Canada, the world’s 10th-biggest economy.

Canada has said the 1,600-page agreement concluded in 2014 is final, though both sides are drafting a statement to clarify how some provisions will be carried out.

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