Advertisement

BRUSSELS (AP) -- Canada and the European Union have struck a tentative free trade agreement meant to boost growth and employment.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on Friday said following talks with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper the two sides have reached a "breakthrough in negotiations." He called it "a great agreement for both the European Union and Canada."

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, streamline regulation and cut red tape that hampers trade.

The European Union, a $17-trillion economy, is Canada's second-largest trading partner behind the U.S.

The deal still requires approval by parliaments and EU member states.

Advertisement
Advertisement