Who Does Canada Have A Free Trade Agreement With

Is the trade agreement the most recent but concrete proof of the Americans` retreat into a North American fortress policy, reinforced by possible bilateral agreements with Mexico and Canada? (These agreements followed previous U.S. trade agreements, namely a bilateral agreement with Israel in 1985 and the Caribbean Basin Economic Initiative.) Any possible agreement with the United States on any issue, let alone any agreement as central as trade, gives other countries the prospect of reviewing the position of the United States. Despite the occasional diatribes from political analysts and some Canadian CEOs, such as Walter Light of Northern Telecom, free trade was simply not on the national agenda. The United States, in turn, wanted all trade in services and intellectual property to be included in the agreement; unfettered access to investment in Canadian industries, particularly the energy sector, without oversight or restriction by the Canadian federal government; and restrictions on government policy in general that could reduce U.S. exports. Canada`s detailed preparations for the actual negotiations, including oversight of a special Cabinet committee, 15 separate sectoral trade advisory groups, and an advisory committee of private sector staff, have strengthened the government`s position on specific negotiating issues. Joe Clark was appointed chair of the Special Cabinet Committee, which had access to external and internal advice, including chief negotiator Simon Reisman. Initially, the aim was to reduce political pressure for exceptions by putting all issues on the negotiating table, including cultural issues and investment aid. Negotiators on both sides of the table quickly realized what the political masters were quick to point out: the industries under threat are not only labour-intensive, after all, but also electorally intensive. .