Paul Martin's Business Update - October 21st

Oct 21, 2013, 05:35 PM, Regina, SK, Canada

The new free trade deal between Canada and Europe is a significant and important positive step for this country.

There is no doubt that there will be some moaning about the deal, especially from parts of the agriculture sector which have enjoyed a high level of protectionism that was good politics but bad for consumers. But at the end of the day this is a trading nation and anything to streamline trade or improve access to a market – particularly one of the size of Europe – can be seen as nothing but beneficial.

Canada is currently negotiating one with China, another with Japan as well as Thailand. We do these country-to-country or bilateral deals because the old World Trade organization has turned into a dismal failure and the only way to clean up rules between nations is one at a time.

Canada launched this latest one for two reasons – we wanted better rules but also to diversify our markets. With America rejecting things like Keystone, that relationship is strained, opening the door for a more global approach.

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