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From Thursday's Globe and Mail
E-mail Doug Saunders | Read Bio | Latest Columns
September 18, 2008 at 2:00 AM EDT
LONDON — Canadian and European officials say they plan to begin negotiating a massive agreement to integrate Canada's economy with the 27 nations of the European Union, with preliminary talks to be launched at an Oct. 17 summit in Montreal three days after the federal election.
Trade Minister Michael Fortier and his staff have been engaged for the past two months with EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson and the representatives of European governments in an effort to begin what a senior EU official involved in the talks described in an interview yesterday as “deep economic integration negotiations.”
If successful, Canada would be the first developed nation to have open trade relations with the EU, which has completely open borders between its members but imposes steep trade and investment barriers on outsiders.
The proposed pact would far exceed the scope of older agreements such as NAFTA by encompassing not only unrestricted trade in goods, services and investment and the removal of tariffs, but also the free movement of skilled people and an open market in government services and procurement – which would require that Canadian governments allow European companies to bid as equals on government contracts for both goods and services and end the favouring of local or national providers of public-sector services.
A pact with the United States would be politically impossible in Europe, senior European Commission officials said.
Originally posted by Ausable_Bill
Of all the talk about the NAU, and the Amero, and NAFTA, and only 3 people besides myself has commented on this news?
I figured this thread would be blazing non-stop with comments.