Spreading NAFTA's Love Across The AtlanticSubmitted by StaxBrix on Fri, 10/10/2008 - 21:41
Canada and the European Union (EU) are set to begin preliminary discussions on deeper economic integration a mere three days after the election. It has been reported that the proposed trade deal will far exceed NAFTA. Some see this as an opportunity to possibly update the 15 year-old accord. Stephen Harper is busy telling Canadians that only a Conservative majority government will be able to bring confidence back and stabilize the economy. That is why I find it a little strange that this has not become a pillar of the Conservatives economic platform. Harper has decided not to release the full text of the draft proposal until after the election on October 14. The reality is that such an agreement with the EU will be no different than NAFTA in the sense that it will be used to further advance corporate interests.
For the past several months, Canadian officials have been hard at work negotiating with EU representatives. They have compiled a detailed study that will be unveiled after the election. Talks could begin as early as October 17 at a summit in Montreal , with formal negotiations set to begin in 2009. Just as the case with the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) labour, citizen groups and the public at large have been excluded from any discussions. Many support this trade initiative because they wish to lessen Canada’s dependency on the American economy. This agreement has a better chance of succeeding if Harper is re-elected Prime Minister. There still remains much secrecy surrounding trade talks with the EU, and up to this point, Harper appears to be reluctant to make this an election issue.