By design, free trade agreements tear down the protectionist walls propping up status quo producers. However, even those producers -- at least those who reform, will also find a newfound ability to thrive given increased access to markets with tens of millions, or hundreds of millions, of potential new customers. All of this benefits consumers, most obviously when expensive tariffs on their choices, from Korean cars to Canadian beef, are eliminated.
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VANCOUVER -- With the ink still wet on a free-trade deal with South Korea, Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Canada would be willing to reopen the North American Free Trade Agreement for the right pr...
WASHINGTON - There's been lots of talk this week from the U.S. administration about NAFTA's shortcomings and the ways it can be fixed.Make no mistake: this talk is about the next trade deal, not the l...
OTTAWA — Will a few days in Mexico City be enough time for Stephen Harper to thaw years of frosty relations between Canada and Mexico? The prime minister and his Mexican counterpart, President Enriqu...
WASHINGTON - A controversial six-year-old campaign promise by Barack Obama to renegotiate NAFTA made a re-appearance Tuesday.The president's trade secretary said that renegotiation is precisely what's...
OTTAWA - He felt the love in Israel, but when Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrives in Mexico later this month, he'll be met by an undercurrent of resentment from a continental neighbour that feels sp...
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OTTAWA - Ross Perot may have had it right after all about who would win under NAFTA.The North American Free Trade Deal was an important step for all three members, but the evidence points to Mexico —...
When concluded, the Canada-Japan EPA would create a year-on-year multi-billion-dollar gain for the Canadian economy. A joint study by Canada and Japan has estimated the annual boost to Canada's gross domestic product from an EPA would be between $3.9 billion and $9.3 billion, while the gains for Japan's economy are estimated to be between $4.5 billion and $5.1 billion.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said her government would support the proposed Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) -- with conditions. The province should be compensated by the federal government, said the Premier, for an expected nine-figure increase in drug costs, as well as the effect of subsidized European cheese imports on local dairy farmers and possible hardship at Ontario wineries. Think about that for a second. The feds will hand money over to Ontario, who will in turn hand much of it over to pharmaceutical giants.
Should the "right" of a foreign corporation to make a profit trump governments' attempts to create local jobs, improve environmental regulations or establish laws that raise royalty rates? Most Canadians would say no. But that's what the Conservative government is pushing poor countries to accept if they want Canadian investment.
It's time that governments stop signing trade and investment pacts that put the rights of corporations above the rights of communities and the environment. My right to clean water, clean air, and a healthy planet for my family and community has to come before Lone Pine's right to mine and profit... doesn't it?
In the Straterra case, Eli Lilly said its ADHD drug could be used as a treatment for chronic ADHD. However, a federal court found there was not sufficient evidence to back up those promises when the patent was registered, and therefore it should not have been granted on the grounds of inutility. This "promise doctrine" of the courts arguably makes Canada's patent system more rigorous. Patents can be a useful way of rewarding innovation, but they also lock away knowledge for many years, keeping potentially better and certainly cheaper versions of the same medication off the market. In any case, invalidation of a patent is a rare occurrence in Canada.
Eli Lilly is accusing Canada of violating its obligations to foreign investors under the North American Free Trade Agreement by allowing its courts to invalidate patents for two of its drugs. The com...
A U.S.-based pharma giant’s threat to sue Canada for $500 million under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has prompted activist groups to launch a petition and call for a rethink of inve...
Corporate empowerment deals, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the as yet unratified Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPPA), a bilateral agreement with China, empower corporations to the extent that government legislation becomes subordinated to corporate profits. There are ways to combat this, but it will not be easy.
Whenever Canadians cross the border, it is inevitable they will find cheaper goods in the United States. There is a reason that helps explain part of the price differences: $3.6 billion in customs tariffs. All consumers would benefit from more competition and an end to anti-consumer tariffs. But more importantly, low-income Canadians would benefit the most.
On December 7, Prime Minister Stephen Harper approved the first two complete takeovers of Canadian-owned energy firms by foreign state-owned companies in our country's history. The Prime Minister used sleight of hand to trick Canadians into thinking these were "exceptional" cases, to be repeated only cautiously in the future.
He appeared to close the door to ownership of the tar sands by companies controlled by foreign governments. But he didn't close it at all. He left it wide open and signaled to China, Malaysia and other countries that Canada's strategic energy resources were entirely for sale, not just to the highest bidder but to any bidder at all.
Because countries often have differing political and economic systems, agreements are needed to protect those invested in trade. Canada has signed numerous deals. Treaties, agreements and organizations to help settle disputes may be necessary, but they often favour the interests of business over citizens.
Last week, a casualty of China's unfair treatment of foreign investors spoke privately about the new trade deal signed between Ottawa and Beijing. Ottawa capitulated to China on everything. The deal, using a hockey metaphor, allows only a select few to play on Team Canada on a small patch of ice in China and to be fouled, without remedies or referees.
On the 25th anniversary of the Canada/U.S. Free Trade Agreement, Brian Mulroney says the deal continues to reap rewards for Canada on the international stage. In a wide-ranging interview with the CBC...
Despite Prime Minister Stephen Harper's recent announcements of trade talks with various Asian countries, joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a more important strategic victory for Canada. Bargaining alongside the United States, Canada can get concessions from other countries it couldn't get alone. And as a TPP member, Canada can better safeguard its relationship and hard-won market access to the United States than if it was excluded.
As a Liberal candidate during the 2011 federal election, many people insisted that I take a firm stand against Alberta's oil sands. I simply wouldn't do that. I urged voters to think about what they were asking me to do. Why were people ready to insist on such a radical and destructive position when they had very few facts at their disposal?
OTTAWA -- Two U.S. oil companies have won their complaint against the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, which they challenged under a provision of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Unoffic...
Holiday parties gave me the opportunity to talk to Washingtonians about Canada, and the most frequent question this year is not about the Keystone XL pipeline, but about Canadian attitudes about Mexico. Why is Canada so hostile to U.S. attempts to address problems trilaterally?
The terrorist attacks had a profound effect on me, and on the way that the world looked to me. The U.S.-Canadian relationship changed profoundly at that moment, struck by a monster who had probably never thought about it. My career as an American Canada-watcher changed that day, too.
Americans are now committed to an agreement in principle that points in the right direction. It is now our responsibility to make sure we move from pretty words to a workable border regime. Our continental competitiveness and prosperity depend on it.
The Harper government's sudden desire to be part of a potentially sweeping new free-trade deal with Asia-Pacific countries and the U.S. could have far-reaching consequences for ordinary Canadians, pos...
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As Washington continues to defend the contentious Buy American provisions outlined in the U.S. jobs bill, it has become abundantly clear that, for policymakers south of the border, Canada is not top o...
Dalton McGuinty's Green Energy Act has failed to provide the thousands of high value jobs he has spent the last two years claiming it would and Canada's reputation as a free trader is being challenged by important members of the global community. But sadly, it's Ontarians who will clean up the mess.
WASHINGTON - Call it Buy American, The Sequel.U.S. President Barack Obama's proposed new $447 billion American Jobs Act is aimed at creating much-needed jobs in the United States, but it's also reigni...