Belgian region undoes years of work towards Canada-European trade deal

Wallonia has decided to make Belgium great again.

Canada's trade minister left Belgium with harsh words (at least in diplomatic terms), saying it's evident that the EU is not capable of having a trade agreement with Canada.

Update: Some even harsher words here.

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau was planning on flying to Belgium today to sign it but the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia blocked it. The area is known for its medieval towns, Renaissance-era architecture and traditional Trappist beers.

What's crazy is that single, tiny region blocked trade with an entire continent and the second-biggest country in the world.

That demonstrates two things: 1) That free trade supporters aren't as enthusiastic as they used to be. 2) That the EU's structure is ridiculous.

In the US, Donald Trump's strongest political arguments are against current trade deals. He said he's for free trade but the problem is the words 'free trade' have been the greatest propaganda coup in a generation.

If we were really talking about 'free trade' the agreements would be one sentence long and say: Trade across borders is now completely free.

But what's really going on is that these are old-fashioned trade deals with winners and losers and that the losers are fighting back.

The next big test is TPP and Hillary and Trump both say they're opposed. With Clinton, it's a dubious claim at best but she might be forced to stick to it. Alternatively, Obama could try to sign it before the new President is inaugurated.

But it's not just up to the US. It could be another tiny region that kills it. In that case, it will be clear that the +30 year trend of open borders and open trade is in complete reverse.