EU chief says trade deal with Canada still possible

BRUSSELS – The president of the European Union still hopes that a free trade between the bloc and Canada can be signed at a summit this week despite Belgium’s refusal so far to sign on.

Donald Tusk told EU legislators early Wednesday that “the summit tomorrow is still possible.”

For now, he acknowledged, “the EU is still not ready to sign” because of the steadfast opposition of a Belgian region, which is blocking the approval of its national government.

After some progress late Tuesday, Belgian national and regional leaders huddled again early Wednesday seeking a breakthrough that would yield the unanimity among EU nations on the trade deal.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is still ready to come over to Brussels for Thursday’s signature.