Gulf Cooperation Council officials said the European Union needs to step up efforts to conclude a long-planned free trade agreement between the two economic blocs, after failing to reach a compromise despite concessions from the Gulf states.
OTTAWA — German officials are denying a report that free-trade talks between Canada and the European Union could be scuttled by a contentious issue surrounding foreign-investor protection, but they are not saying whether they will support the provision in the final document.
Still, others are publicly calling for the so-called investor-state dispute settlements (ISDS) clause to be hived off the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and dealt with nation-by-nation.
CALGARY — The political will is high to conclude a free trade deal between Canada and the European Union, even if negotiations to resolve outstanding issues are taking longer than expected, the head of the economic and trade section of the EU’s delegation in Canada said Wednesday.
BRUSSELS – Canada must offer the European Union broader access to its markets if both sides are to agree to a free-trade accord they have been negotiating since 2009, the EU’s trade chief said on Thursday.
A free-trade agreement with Canada would be the European Union’s first such deal with a major world economy. The United States is watching closely because Washington will launch separate trade negotiations with Brussels later this year.
Canada’s dairy farmers are “angered and disappointed” with the Conservative government over a possible free-trade deal with the European Union that could more than double the amount of EU cheese allowed into Canada.
A proposed agreement-in-principle is sitting with the provinces for final approval.
The official Opposition NDP said it is worried the Conservatives may be throwing Canadian dairy farmers “under the bus” on a trade deal both sides have been negotiating since 2009.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his South Korean counterpart announced early Tuesday their two countries have concluded a free-trade agreement that the government boasts will be a major boost for Canadian exporters in the fast growing Asian market, but detractors fear will damage Ontario’s key economic auto industry.
The announcement ends almost a decade of on-and-off talks and represents Canada’s first free-trade agreement with an Asian country, a region of the world the Conservative government has targeted as essential for the country’s economic well-being.
OTTAWA — When the U.S. Commerce Secretary sits down Friday with her Canadian and Mexican counterparts, talks are likely to focus as much on the future shape of global trade as concerns over existing stumbling blocks.
“We’re living in a world where lots of free-trade agreements are being negotiated bilaterally,” Penny Pritzker said Thursday.
“But to really move the needle, a multilateral free-trade agreement of high standards is one that’s going to set the standard for how trade is done in the 21st century.”
Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann and a high-ranking Chinese government delegation have celebrated the entry into force of a key free trade agreement between the two countries. The accord, signed last July, improves mutual market access for goods and services, and together with a bilateral agreement on labour and employment, will contribute to long-term economic development. The economics ministry said the deal is the most important free trade agreement for Switzerland’s export industry since the 1972 accord with the European Union.
OTTAWA — Canada’s federal politicians returned to Parliament Hill Wednesday for a new session that will start a long political battle towards the next election in 2015.
The Conservative government’s throne speech was to be read in the Senate chamber late Wednesday afternoon by Gov. Gen. David Johnston, but members of Parliament and senators began their day gathering in closed-door meetings with their fellow party caucus members on the Hill.
OTTAWA — With negotiators poised to meet next week in Ottawa, the European Union is once again ratcheting up the pressure on Canada to conclude long-running free trade talks.
Matthias Brinkmann, the European Union ambassador to Canada, said Wednesday he’s hopeful an agreement can be finalized, possibly before the summer’s end.
“But, as you know, it takes two to tango, so here we are,” Brinkmann said after a ceremony marking Croatia’s entry into the 28-country EU.