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Key dates in Trudeau’s ‘free trade’ agenda timeline

Trade minister François-Philippe Champagne

The Trudeau government is pursuing numerous ‘free trade’ agreements. Below is a timeline of key political moments over the next several months:

October 23-27 – first round of Canada-Pacific Alliance FTA negotiations

“[Champagne] welcomes the first round of free trade negotiations between Canada and the Pacific Alliance [full members – Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru; associate members – Singapore, Australia, New Zealand] taking place from October 23 to 27, in Cali, Colombia.” – Government of Canada media release (issued the day before the talks begin)

October 25 – French government to unveil plans to respond to National Assembly member concerns about CETA

“Later this month, the French government will present new requirements for the implementation of CETA, ahead of the vote in the French parliament to ratify the deal. When Macron was elected, he set up a committee to examine the deal [which has] made several recommendations, introducing tighter checks on Canadian meat that could contain hormones, and to improve information for consumers on agricultural production methods. It also recommended establishing a climate ‘veto’, to ensure that foreign investments respect plans to reduce carbon emissions, and to monitor more closely the composition and work of the investor court system (ICS)…” – EU Observer

October 30 – deadline for public comments on TPP11

“Global Affairs Canada has launched a consultation on a potential agreement with the remaining Trans-Pacific Partnership partners.” – iPolitics

October – Trudeau cabinet decision on pursuing a Canada-China FTA

“According to a Canadian government official familiar with the matter, formal exploratory talks with China wrapped up in July. Officials are crunching numbers and are expected provide analysis to Champagne before the end of [September]. Cabinet could be discussing a decision by October, and Champagne could be on his way to China in December if there’s a green light, the official said.” – National Post

November 11-12 – decisive moment in TPP11 talks

“Ten months after President Donald Trump abandoned what was pegged as the world’s biggest trade deal, its surviving participants may be close to a new agreement. Details of a new Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty could emerge next month at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, meeting [in Vietnam] — the agreed upon deadline by the accord’s remaining participants. There’s ‘a reasonable chance’ that leaders will actually sign a piece of paper in November or say they will sign one, Alan Bollard, executive director at the APEC Secretariat, told CNBC on [October 17].” – CNBC

November – economic mission to help finalize a Canada-India FIPA

“Champagne will conduct an economic mission to India next month… The mission could help finalize [a foreign investment promotion and protection agreement in ‘a few months’]. Ottawa is still exploring the possibility of ratifying a free trade agreement with India, but this perspective appears farther away [admits Champagne]. ‘It must be said, it will be long.'” – La Presse

December 11-14 – Canada to launch FTA talks with Mercosur countries

“Canada and the South American trade bloc Mercosur [Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay] will announce in December the opening of negotiations for a free-trade deal during the World Trade Organization’s annual meeting in Argentina…” – Reuters

December – chief negotiators to meet in between NAFTA rounds

“Chief negotiators from the United States, Mexico and Canada for [NAFTA] will meet in December between official rounds of talks, Economy Ministry Ildefonso Guajardo said.” – Reuters

February-March 2018 – NAFTA talks scheduled to conclude

“Negotiators, struggling to find agreement on some of the thorniest provisions of the trade deal, will take an extended break to consult with politicians and interest groups before convening again in Mexico City for the fifth round of talks [November 17-21]. The trade talks, which were supposed to wrap up by year-end, have now been extended into the first quarter of 2018, the parties said.” – New York Times

June 8-9, 2018 – G7 summit in La Malbaie, Quebec

“[Trudeau] anticipates that the summit’s top priority will be gender equality, but that talks would also focus on climate change and international trade. …The G7 consists of the seven richest countries in the world, namely Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the United States.” – CTV

For more on the Council of Canadians trade campaign, please click here.