Justin Trudeau touches down in France ahead of historic EU speech

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STRASBOURG, France – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in Strasbourg, France, hours ahead of what was billed as a historic, confidence-building speech to European lawmakers.

Trudeau landed in the eastern French city that borders Germany in the early morning hours Thursday – a day after Canada and the European Union approved a free trade deal.

READ MORE: CETA: EU approves trade deal with Canada

Politicians in Canada and Europe are hailing Wednesday’s approval of the the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement by the European Parliament as a win for the values of openness in the face of anti-trade movements, including the Donald Trump administration.

WATCH: PM Trudeau will address Canada-EU relationship following CETA deal


The Strasbourg legislature approved trade deal by a margin of 408-254, with 33 abstentions.

The vote clears a major hurdle for the deal that saw its first round of bargaining almost eight years ago and has had to overcome mounting anti-trade populism in Europe.

READ MORE: CETA: Canada and Europe hail trade deal amid Trump-era protectionist sentiment

Trudeau is expected to hammer home his anti-isolationist and anti-protectionist message in his address Thursday to the European Parliament, a first for a Canadian leader, and to top business leaders a day later in Germany.

WATCH: Conservative MP thanks Liberals for CETA deal; says it’ll positively impact Canadian jobs

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