Thursday, October 7, 2010

Canada Must Show Leadership on Trade

(The Globe and Mail – John Weekes)

Big challenges and opportunities face Canadian trade negotiators in the months ahead, as a visit to the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade will show you. What’s missing is a signal from the political masters in Ottawa that they have the willpower to make trade decisions that will benefit most Canadians, but will certainly be unpopular in some parts of the country.

On Oct. 18, Canadian team members sit down in Ottawa with their European counterparts to continue crafting what is called a comprehensive economic and trade agreement. At the WTO in Geneva, Canada is trying to breathe life into the long delayed WTO Doha Round negotiations, and in Seoul on Nov. 11 and 12, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other G20 leaders will continue the discussion they had in Toronto on the challenge of concluding this multilateral marathon.

Canadian negotiators also need to pick up on the recent Canada U.S. Agreement on Government Procurement by exploring “an agreement that would expand, on a reciprocal basis, commitments with respect to market access for government procurement”. Read more here.