Skip to content

NEWS: Harper government pushes to sign CETA by June 21

The front-page of today’s Globe and Mail reports, “The Harper government is pushing hard to secure a trade deal with the European Union before the Commons adjourns in June, an achievement the Conservatives sorely need to demonstrate they can ink ambitious accords that reduce Canada’s reliance on the United States. Ottawa is in a race against the clock now that the European Union is turning its attention to a separate accord with the United States – a development that threatens to overshadow EU negotiations with Canada.”

According to the House of Commons calendar, the House is set to adjourn by June 21.

The article adds, “Chief Canadian negotiator Steve Verheul has been in talks with his EU counterparts in Brussels since Monday and discussions are expected to continue through Wednesday. Canada hopes to emerge with a schedule for future talks that would in turn focus on each of the obstacles to a deal.”

Those obstacles appear to be “how much Canadian beef will be allowed into the EU, how much Canadian content needs to be in Europe-bound automobiles and to what extent Canada might open up its cheese market and government procurement or lengthen patent protection for brand-name drugs. …The EU and Canada are also grappling with Ottawa’s stubborn insistence to protect its right to intervene in the Canadian financial system when it feels business activity might endanger the sector.”

More to come.