NEWS: Canada eyes joining the 'Alianza del Pacifico' trade bloc

Embassy Magazine reports, "A new Latin American trade bloc has caught the eye of Canada... The Alianza del Pacifico, or Pacific Alliance, is a recent deal between Colombia, Chile, Peru, and Mexico... A framework agreement for the alliance was formally signed in June 2012 at the group's fourth presidential summit in Chile, and the next meeting is on Aug. 29 in Mexico. One expert says the group, which has a combined GDP of close to $2 trillion, is gunning for the full freedom of movement of goods, services, capital, and people-integrating everything from police co-operation to certain customs rules, visas, and money markets-and has announced its intention to scrap visas for travel between member countries. ...Foreign Minister John Baird, who flew to Chile for the alliance's summit on June 6 gave strong indications that Canada is interested. ...Canada is interested, said Mr. Baird, because the country already has trade deals with all of the founding members, as well as with observer Costa Rica. ...The US is also supportive of the alliance, he continued, citing US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's meeting with the group's heads of state at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia in April. And given the economic integration with Canada, wherever the US plants its trade roots, its northern neighbour often follows."