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Canada, EU to start talks on ‘economic agreement’

The Globe and Mail reports this morning that, “Trade Minister Stockwell Day said yesterday that Canada and the European Union will begin negotiations for an ‘economic agreement’ on certain sectors.”

Day says, “We’ve reached an agreement with the European Union on sectors that will be the subject of negotiations for an economic agreement with the EU.”

Day also said Canadian and EU officials agreed they “should be seeking an ambitious agreement” covering sectors such as trade in goods, intellectual property and competition policy.

The Globe and Mail adds that, “The Canadian government will now prepare a negotiation mandate in consultation with provinces and territories…”

The full article can be read at

The Globe and Mail had reported in September 2008 that, “The proposed pact would far exceed the scope of older agreements such as NAFTA by encompassing not only unrestricted trade in goods, services and investment and the removal of tariffs, but also the free movement of skilled people and an open market in government services and procurement – which would require that Canadian governments allow European companies to bid as equals on government contracts for both goods and services and end the favouring of local or national providers of public-sector services.”

That article can be read at

CanWest News reported in mid-January that, “Canada and the 27-member European Union hope to launch full-scale negotiations on an ambitious trade liberalization agreement in May, International Trade Minister Stockwell Day said…”

That can be read at

The Canada Europe Round Table has suggested that the deal could be in place as early as 2010.

The Council of Canadians is very concerned that this proposed agreement would promote the privatization of public services, restrict the local procurement powers of provincial governments, widen the scope of Canada’s NAFTA obligations due to that agreements most-favoured nation clauses, and include a dispute-settlement mechanism similar to NAFTA’s Chapter 11 investor-state clause.