International Trade Minister Ed Fast says Canada is headed toward closing a free trade deal with the European Union by 2012. Fast says “important progress” was made during eighth-round negotiations with the EU in Brussels this week. A ninth round of talks will take place in October. Fast suggested Canada is willing to offer the EU significant compromises on goods and government purchasing. The Harper government has focused on increasing non-U.S. trade so Canada isn’t so dependent on a single market.