In surprise move, Canada pauses talks on trade treaty with India

OTTAWA (Reuters) -Canada on Friday unexpectedly said it had paused talks on a proposed trade treaty with India, just three months after the two nations said they aimed to seal an initial agreement this year.

Canada and India have been talking off and on since 2010 about a comprehensive economic partnership agreement. The talks were formally relaunched last year.

"Trade negotiations are long, complex processes. And we've paused to take stock of where we are," a government official told reporters ahead of a trip by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to New Delhi next week.

The official, who spoke on the condition he not be identified, declined to give more details.

India's envoy to Canada, Sanjay Kumar Verma, told the Canadian Press on Friday that Ottawa had sought a pause "within the last month" but had not explained why.

India and Canada said in May they aimed to seal an initial agreement this year to increase trade and expand investment while setting out a mechanism to deal with disputes.

Last month, a top Indian trade official said New Delhi planned to hold bilateral free trade talks with Canada and other nations on the sidelines of a G20 summit next week. Trudeau will attend the meeting.

Neither Trudeau's office or the office of Trade Minister Mary Ng were immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Andy Sullivan)