August 24, 2016 / 3:07 PM / 2 years ago

Canada names new envoy to help push through EU free trade deal

File picture of Pierre Pettigrew speaking during the 12th ASEAN Regional Forum (Retreat) in Vientiane. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada has named a former politician with experience in trade and foreign affairs as the government’s new envoy to help complete its long-negotiated free trade agreement with the European Union, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

Pierre Pettigrew, who served as both minister of foreign affairs and minister for international trade under previous Liberal governments, has been named envoy for the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a spokeswoman for Minister of International Trade Chrystia Freeland said.

Ratification for CETA is facing some hurdles after the EU gave Europe’s national parliaments the right to ratify the deal, which raises the risk it will not be implemented. Britain’s decision to leave the EU has also created some uncertainty around the pact and means Britain may have to renegotiate separately.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Alistair Bell

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