The Canadian Press reports today that, “An ambitious free-trade deal between Canada and Europe could be reached by the end of 2011, a prominent former Quebec premier involved in the negotiations said Tuesday.”
DEAL COULD HAPPEN FASTER THAN PEOPLE THINK “Pierre Marc Johnson, who led the province Quebec for a short time in 1985, said negotiations are going well and that… ‘This could actually happen faster than people think.'”
“Jean Charest’s government last spring named the ex-Parti Quebecois premier its point man in the international talks.”
EUROPE INTERESTED IN PROCUREMENT
“Slow to appreciate the benefits of a trade deal with Canada, European bureaucrats are now looking with great interest at Canada’s public market procurement system and a variety of other long-term strategic interests, Johnson said.”
A WIDE-RANGING AGREEMENT BEYOND NAFTA
“Johnson foresees a wide-ranging agreement that goes beyond NAFTA since the provinces are at the negotiating table this time on matters of provincial and shared jurisdiction.”
“He expects the deal will address traditional trade barriers like tariffs and customs procedures as well as capital flow and investment. Efforts are also underway to streamline product-specific regulations, like those related to the certification of forestry products or the size of mobile home panels. The deal is expected to include provisions related to labour mobility and science and technology.”
“(Johnson) hinted consensus between the federal government and the provinces may not be entirely necessary for the agreement to be signed.”
THE COUNCIL OF CANADIANS
To respond to our ‘ACTION ALERT: Release the Canada-EU trade deal text!’, please go to http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=2191.
For our analysis on the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, go to www.canadians.org/trade/issues/EU/index.html.
Today’s Canadian Press report is at http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/091117/business/trade_cda_europe.