However, support has decreased compared to the 2014 survey.  In contrast, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has a support rate of 44 per cent among Canadians as of February 2017.  Unlike Canada, the agreement has sparked protests in a number of European countries. Initially, it was unclear whether EU member states should ratify the agreement, given that the European Commission considered the treaty to fall within the EU`s sole competence.  However, in July 2016, it was decided to qualify CETA as a “mixed agreement” and thus to be ratified in national proceedings.  CETA is Canada`s largest bilateral initiative since NAFTA. It was launched following a joint study entitled “Assessing the Costs and Benefits of a Closer EU-Canada Economic Partnership”, published in October 2008. In addition to removing barriers, the TIEA is expected to increase Canadian and European interest in other`s markets.  The TIEA lasted until 2006, when Canada and the EU decided to halt negotiations. This led to negotiations for a Canada-European Union trade agreement (later renamed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement or CETA) and this agreement will lead, beyond the TIEA, to an agreement whose scope is much broader and more ambitious. The prime minister met with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen earlier this month in Downing Street to express his openness to a Canadian-style deal, the Times said.