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How Our 20-year Fight for Canada-Europe Free Trade Finally Succeeded

Posted October 14, 2014

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues

(Roy MacLaren – Globe & Mail)

Roy MacLaren is a former Minister of International Trade and High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

International trade agreements frequently have a rather long genesis. The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), released last week, is no exception.

In 1994 – twenty years ago – when Prime Minister Jean Chretien was to address the French Senate I made certain, as Canada’s Minister for International Trade, that his text included a proposal for a transatlantic trade agreement between the North American free-trade agreement and the burgeoning European Union. I had recently shepherded NAFTA through the House of Commons. Being an inveterate free trader, I had then begun to explore transatlantic support for a NAFTA-EU trade and investment agreement. There was, however, no response from either Brussels or Washington. Dead silence. Read more here.