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Business lobby again invited to brief trade committee on CETA

On Monday, the parliamentary trade committee will for the second time hear from witnesses on the Canada-EU free trade negotiations. Also for the second time, the Canada-Europe Roundtable for Business will speak right after Canada’s lead negotiator, Steve Verheul. The two-for-two record isn’t proof of undue influence on trade policy by a business lobby but it doesn’t look good either. My question for the trade committee is, What do you expect CERT to say about the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) that they didn’t say at the first CETA hearing before the summer break? I suspect they’re invited to fight off any whiff of skepticism about the deal from opposition MPs, which would be highly inappropriate but not surprising from a Conservative government that has been caught making up statistics to sell CETA to the public. For more on the cozy relationship between CERT and the federal government, see our new fact sheet: CETA and Corporate Lobbying: Corporations hold power over negotiations.