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Friday, September 19, 2008

New “deep economic integration” trade deal

Getting caught up in the financial meltdown, the unprecedented bidding war for our votes and in the mock outrage being expressed by the mass media and opposition politicians and supporters over the Ritz “affair”, I didn’t blog on this story yesterday.

Apparently, there is a draft for a new “deep economic integration” trade deal between Canada and the European Union. For many of us, this is the sort of counter-balance to our over-dependence on the US economy and the resulting threat to Canadian sovereignty that we have long hoped our government would pursue. And it couldn’t come at a better time.

The draft text has not been made public, but we can speculate that any agreement we negotiate with the EU will be not quite as broad-based as that between the current EU members. Presumably, we would have some sort of “associate” status whereby we would be joining the EU as a North American moon to their European sun. Canada as a conduit between the world’s two greatest free trade unions provides a seductive image. There will no doubt be some sacrifices to make, but they should be worth it.

“Free trade has lifted the fortunes of nations around the world — including Canada, which has benefitted greatly under NAFTA and the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement before it. There is no reason that a free trade agreement with Europe would not also be beneficial. We urge our government to do everything in its power to make it reality.” National Post

I second the encouragement expressed by the National Post.

This provides another good reason to return Stephen Harper and the Conservatives to Ottawa to manage this life-changing opportunity through to a final agreement. The Liberals do not have the heart for bold actions (remember how they railed against the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement), they never have and never will. These really tough decisions must be left to the Tories.

2 comments — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. Don't touch this one with a ten foot pole. The EU is the epitome of left wing dogma supporting government intrusion into every aspect of a private citizen's life. Big givernment, super-regulation, and adherence to environmental overkill is their mantra. What ails the EU was once called the "British Disease", but it appears as if the Brits are getting wise and are prepared to dump the proponents of this discredited socialist philosophy before all their industries move to nations that don't think it's a good idea to sacrifice their citizens on the altar of environmentalism.

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  2. I disagree with Powell wholeheartedly. A Conservative government negotiating a free trade deal with the EU is absolutely reason enough to vote for Harper. This deal must be ratified and you can guarantee no Liberal government will see it through. Engaging the EU should become a much larger plank of Canadian foreign and trade policy.

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