Canada-EU Trade Pact in Works: Trudeau’s “Third Option” Rises from the Grave

29 04 2009

It appears that Canada and the European Union are ready to begin negotiating a trade pact.

My wife, who knows that I am troubled by Canada’s reliance on the export of unprocessed natural resources, asked me whether free(r) trade with the EU would be helpful in getting Canada to transition from a natural resource based to knowledge-based economy?

I replied that I didn’t think that a Canada-EU trade agreement would encourage Canada to move from natural resources to a knowledge-based economy, but it would reduce our economic dependence on the United States, which is also a very good thing.

I must say that while I heartily approve of the opening of these negotiations, I doubt whether a significant agreement will be concluded, since each of Canada’s provincial governments has a veto over the agreement, as does each EU country. There are too many people at the table to satisfy. I can see the government of Newfoundland torpedoing the agreement over the issue of seal pelt exports or something like that. For more on the seal issue, see here.

I suspect that the outcome of these negotiations will be a very modest agreement that reduces a few trade barriers but which has a minimal impact on Canada’s overall trade pattern. Those Canadians who believe that this pact will somehow lead to Canada becoming part of the Schengen area are dreaming in Technicolor. (I admit it would be nice if Canadians had the right to live and work in the EU, but this isn’t on the table).



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