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The Varsity Canada Europe Trade Agreement opens up exciting new opportunities

Volume CXXXIV, No. 09

U niversity of Toronto's Student Newspaper Since 1880



Canada Europe Trade Agreement opens up exciting new opportunities

CETA treaty a welcome addition to Canadas international trade horizon
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By Yves Messy Published: 12:22 am, 4 November 2013 Vol CXXXIV, No. 09 under Comment

he Canada Europe Trade Agreement (CETA) has the potential to give a substantial boost to the Canadian economy; it just might serve as the template for a brave new standard of international trade treaty-making. The Harper government must insist on effective arbitration mechanisms, clear safeguards for cultural industries, and effective provincial participation during the ratification process in order for this gift to fulfill its promise; the longevity of the prime ministers legacy depends on this. While the jury is still out on just how much of an impact the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) had on Canadas economy, many critics are keen to emphasize that it hurts Canadian workers just as it allows the United States a substantial, unchecked hold on our natural resources. American counterparts, too, expressed discontent with the treaty during a succession of US elections. Several American politicians, including President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, openly called for renegotiating nafta over concerns that the international treaty undermined the countrys labour market. Given the lengthy consultations that led up to the conclusion of NAFTA, CETA is sure to address many of these concerns. The treaty places particular focus on service trading, with groundbreaking implications for labour mobility between Canada and the rest of North America, the worlds largest economic area. The text of the agreement is not currently available, but the nature of the document at the end of negotiations on October 18 allows for Canadian access to the bidding process for European government appropriations and procurement contracts. Thanks to firms such as Bombardier, Canada is a leader in transportation, oil and gas, and defence procurement expertise. This change is sure to reward core Canadian economic strengths. The treaty also features significant opportunities for labour mobility

Yves Messy

Governing Council chair & @VicCollege_UofT alum Judy Goldring and her family have given over $10 million to #UofT | @TheVarsity

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The Varsity Canada Europe Trade Agreement opens up exciting new opportunities

between Canada and the European Union; it gives Canadian workers preferential access to two of the worlds largest trade zones, a bounty that cannot be ignored. Work visa, intellectual property, and professional certification standards are also being harmonized to make it easier for Canadian labour expertise to sell in the European market. Sections In exchange, rules governing European investment and acquisition Issues firms are Blogs Varsity Broadcast About of Canadian slimming, streamlined and simplified, with no security or Ministry of Finance review necessary, so long as they are valued under $1.5 billion. Seventy per cent of GDP increases in the G8 come from intellectual property and services-related industries, so ceta is a welcome boost for those industries as a growth factor. The many benefits of CETA are conditional on key safeguards, and the Harper government is highly unlikely to stand up for them. Should it fail to do so, CETA is sure to stand as a missed opportunity that exposes protected and essential Canadian industries to costly abuse on the tax payers dime. CETA needs new and improved arbitration mechanisms that allow Canadian businesses to protest violations and abuses of its binding rules. NAFTA failed that test several times by allowing the United States to use sophisticated, non-tariff barriers to trade, and to violate antisubsidies rules in the face of a weak and ineffective trade arbitration process. Europe is full of economies with a much larger footprint on the global economy than individual Canadian provinces. Without sufficient emphasis by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Foreign Minister Ed Fast, the ratification of CETA will only add a European dimension to this already substantial burden on Canadian taxpayers. Overall, CETA is a welcome addition to Canadas international trade horizon. It is sure to add to Stephen Harpers legacy as a prime minister. Its wording, the issues it addresses, and its format already inform other bilateral and global trade agreements in the making, like the Trans Pacific Partnership treaty. At a time when the United States and Europe are slowly making their way back to the forefront of global growth, this treaty gives the Canadian taxpayer greater disposable income and an even greater range of opportunities. These opportunities come at a great cost to uncompetitive Canadian industries, federal-to-provincial cooperation to mitigate this impact is sure to make CETA a really good deal. Yves Messy is in his fourth year studying political science.

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The Varsity Canada Europe Trade Agreement opens up exciting new opportunities
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