Sunday, January 17, 2010
On January 18 - 22, 2010, Canada's negotiators will travel to Brussels, Belgium to take part in the second Round of Canada - European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement negotiations.
The first Round of talks took place in Ottawa, Ontario on October 19 - 23, 2009. Many, but not all, of the Canadian provinces were in attendance at those meetings. Based on my discussions with some who were in attendance, many committees were struck for the purposes of the negotiations and some of the provincial representatives participated in the meetings. That being said, the Canadian federal negotiator is the lead negotiator and Canada is planning to present a federal-provincial agreed position on various matters to the Europeans.
There has been little written about the upcoming Round of negotiations. Here is the link to the Canadian Government page - http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/eu-ue/can-eu-report-intro-can-ue-rapport-intro.aspx
Here is a link to the European Commission Trade page for Canada - http://ec.europa.eu/trade/creating-opportunities/bilateral-relations/countries/canada/
It is important to note that Canadian and the EU Unions are voicing concerns about the CETA - http://www.nupge.ca/node/2869. This should be expected given the vocal nature of unions to many recent FTAs. However, they have written "A Critical Assessment of the proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Between the European Union and Canada", which is an interesting read.