Canada International Relations – Trade 2017

Written by  //  April 28, 2017  //  Canada, Trade & Tariffs  //  No comments

Canada-U.S. 2015-17
NAFTA Three Amigos

Feds hope China softwood mission sends message to U.S
(CTV) A recent trade mission pitching Canadian softwood lumber to China was intended to serve as a message to the United States, International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne told CTV’s Power Play.
Asked if the trip was meant to show other countries are interested in Canadian wood, Champagne said it was.
“Well, it is a strategic message. In my view … even before what happened in the U.S., we realized it’s in our best interest to diversify our markets,” he said.

31 January

CETA comes into force.

(Open Canada) On Oct. 30, Justin Trudeau, together with President of the European Council Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union. While hailed as a victory in many circles for Trudeau and his trade minister, Chrystia Freeland, much of the groundwork for the agreement was laid by former prime minister Stephen Harper’s government. Between CETA and the North American Free Trade Agreement, Canada would have preferential access to more than half of the world’s economy — though this hasn’t stopped CETA’s anti-globalization critics from voicing their opposition.
For CETA to enter into force, the European Parliament must agree to it in a vote — the result of which is by no means pre-ordained — scheduled for February. Even with a stamp of approval from the European Parliament, CETA will still need approval from the EU’s 28 member states and Belgium’s regions. So while the Canadian government’s website states that “both Canada and the EU are committed to the timely ratification and implementation of CETA so that Canadians and Europeans alike can take advantage of its benefits as soon as possible,” it remains to be seen whether CETA’s coming into force will actually happen in 2017. (December 21 2016)

Stéphane Dion to be Canada’s ambassador to EU, Germany
Mr. Dion was known to be unhappy to have been dropped from cabinet in the recent shuffle and had considered taking up a teaching position at the University of Montreal “under very attractive conditions.”
However, Mr. Dion told the House of Commons in a farewell address Tuesday that the call of public service as Canada’s senior diplomat in Europe drew him back.
“I don’t have to explain to anyone here how much of an adrenalin rush we all get from taking action or just how irresistible the call to public service [is], especially when that call comes from your Prime Minister,” he said.
“In its own way, the European continent is facing the same challenges as us, ensuring that openness and inclusion triumphs over exclusion and xenophobia, ensuring a path to inclusive growth and demonstrating that free trade can be combined with workers’ rights and respect for the environment,” he said. “At this critical time, I will do my part to strengthen Canada’s relationship with Europe. It will be an honour to join the Canadian diplomatic work force.”
EXCLUSIVE: Dion not properly briefed on human rights before Saudi arms deal
(National Observer) A federal court’s decision against a judicial review of Canada’s weaponized vehicle exports to Saudi Arabia may be appealed, in part, due to new information about the $15-billion deal uncovered by National Observer.
Documents obtained under access to information legislation indicate that Stéphane Dion, the foreign affairs minister who signed the controversial export permits last year, was never fully informed by his team of human rights experts about the severity of human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia.
That information — contained in a series of heavily-censored reports — contradicts federal Justice Danièle Tremblay-Lamer’s ruling last Tuesday that at the time, Global Affairs Canada was “unanimous in recommending to the minister that the export permits be issued,” said University of Montreal law professor Daniel Turp.

Challenges for Canada
23 January
Trump pulls U.S. out of TPP, will renegotiate NAFTA ‘at the appropriate time’
President repeats campaign pledges on trade protectionism, business-friendly measures
[With Choice of Trade Negotiator, Trump Prepares to Confront Mexico and China]
10 January
Meet François-Philippe Champagne, Trudeau’s new trade minister
Before his big cabinet promotion, Champagne talked economic policy with Maclean’s
Chrystia Freeland takes over Foreign Affairs as Trudeau shuffles cabinet
François-Philippe Champagne becomes minister of international trade.
francois-philippe-champagnFrançois-Philippe Champagne
François-Philippe Champagne has been a strong lieutenant of Finance Minister Bill Morneau over the past year, and will now take a seat at the cabinet table as the minister of international trade.
Champagne takes over the hot file as support for global trade wanes in much of the Western world amid an ascendency of protectionist rhetoric.
Champagne has one notable supporter in his corner: former prime minister Jean Chrétien. Both Champagne and Chrétien hail from Shawinigan, in rural Mauricie area of Quebec, and the Liberal lion encouraged the lawyer turned international businessman to run in the last election.
“He worked in Europe, around the world,” Chrétien recently said in French in an interview with Quebec paper Le Nouvelliste, which recently named Champagne “person of the year.”
“He came to see me, he explained to me that one day he would like to practice politics,” Chrétien said.
“I encouraged him. I gave him my advice. He worked very hard, returned to his home, prepared himself and was elected. He does very well in Ottawa; everyone says it. I am very proud of him. He understands that it is not easy and that you have to work.”
Champagne, 46, worked abroad in the field of green technology and as a vice-president and senior counsel at ABB Group, a multinational Swiss conglomerate.
He was awarded the Young Global Leader award at 2009 World Economic Forum.

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