When Stephen Harper announced a formal start to negotiations of an Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union in Prague earlier this month, you probably thought he had some idea of what kinds of trade barriers the government would like removed. Think again…
DFAIT has just released a questionnaire for organizations (well, mostly exporters of goods and services to Europe) to list all the barriers they have experienced doing business on the Continent.
Things like, oh, I don’t know, government regulation?
Yes, among the barriers to trade, the questionnaire asks respondents to list:
– technical requirements established by standards, regulations or conformity assessment procedures (e.g. inspection, testing or certification) that are unnecessarily trade restrictive; and/or
– government measures designed to achieve non-trade related objectives such as the protection of human (as well as animal and plant) health and safety, the environment or the protection of consumers against deceptive practices.
Imagine what that shopping list of environmental and health protection laws would look like? (If only the responses weren’t protected by privacy legislation — half joking!)
The deadline for responses is June 30, 2009.