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Emerson says NAFTA made Canada “US-centric”

As you may remember, David Emerson was the Minister of Industry in the Paul Martin government, and the Minister of International Trade then Minister of Foreign Affairs under Stephen Harper, before leaving federal politics in September 2008.

The Calgary Herald reports that, “David Emerson, in his first wide-ranging interview since retiring from politics, says…’There was a real kind of noticeable impression out there in the world community that Canada is not as visible as we used to be, and should be,’ he told Canwest News Service in an interview. Emerson said Canada’s visibility problems existed under previous Liberal governments and are possibly linked to the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, which he said made Canada ‘U.S.-centric.’”

That said, it would appear that Mr. Emerson wants Canada to be even more US-centric. The article also reports, “(Emerson says) Canada’s NAFTA advantage is withering in the post-9/11 era because of U.S. border security measures and protectionism. He called on the government to aggressively seek stronger Canada-U.S. ties, up to and including a customs union. He said at minimum Canada should advocate a North American security perimeter arrangement, a labour mobility agreement that modernizes NAFTA provisions, and greater integration on regulatory matters.”

The full article is at http://www.calgaryherald.com/Canada+losing+ground+world+former+minister+says/1295392/story.html