This is the real reason you’re now being taxed with a European-style value-added-tax (the HST). Expect more little surprises like that as negotiations continue.
Related: Greece’s near bankruptcy won’t scuttle Canada-EU trade talks: minister | Big stakes in Canada-Europe trade talks, but little attention | EU ‘Free Trade’ and CETA: Advancing the Transatlantic Agenda | CETA worse than ACTA — EU Trade Negotiators Demand Canada Completely Overhaul Its Intellectual Property La ws | Beyond ACTA: Proposed EU — Canada Trade Agreement Intellectual Property Chapter Leaks | EU approves free-trade talks with Canada | Canada expects EU free-trade talks soon: Stockwell Day | Harper, Sarkozy vow to work toward Canada-EU deal | CD Howe Institute backs Canada-EU deal, deep integration | Towards a new world order: Canada-EU trade proposal rivals scope of NAFTA
The Toronto Star
May 7, 2010
A free trade deal with the European Union seems to make sense for Canada. The EU is a huge market, with 500 million people, and we don’t have to worry about the Europeans compromising human rights or exploiting labour or plundering the environment. Plus, the more trade we do with Europe, the less dependent we are on the American market.
It was this last point that propelled Pierre Trudeau to negotiate a “contractual link” with Europe in the 1970s. It never amounted to much, however, and our dependence on the American market only deepened with the signing of the Canada/U.S. free trade deal by Brian Mulroney’s government in the 1980s.
Now Stephen Harper is Prime Minister and following in Trudeau’s footsteps. Harper is in Europe this week to push for a “comprehensive economic and trade agreement” with the EU, although his stated goal is not to use Europe as a counterweight to the U.S. “One of the most important things is to continue opening global trade and to resist protectionism,” said Harper in Brussels on Wednesday.
In a teleconference Thursday with journalists, Trade Minister Peter Van Loan – who is also in Europe this week – said the trade talks are going well, with a meeting just finished in Ottawa and two more rounds planned for July and October. He added that he expects the deal to be completed some time next year, but he acknowledged that the negotiators have not yet grappled with the “stickier issues.”
Those issues include farm marketing boards and provincial procurement policies, such as Ontario’s Green Energy Act, which requires a large share of projects like wind farms to be domestically sourced. Background documents reveal that these policies have definitely been targeted by the Europeans. And Canadian critics of the EU free trade deal believe this is also Harper’s real aim in the negotiations: getting rid of such barriers to free trade within Canada. Undermining this argument is the presence of provincial representatives at the bargaining table. Indeed, Quebec has been pushing for a deal.
Another looming issue is development of the tar sands. The European Parliament this week passed a resolution expressing “concern about the impact of the extraction of oil sand on the global environment.” This is definitely not part of Harper’s agenda.
Such proposals are all hugely controversial – or they would be if anyone were paying attention. The problem is that the Canada/EU negotiations are taking place below the Canadian radar screen. Helena Guergis and Rahim Jaffer are getting more ink and air time here than free trade with Europe. In Parliament this week, just one question was asked about the negotiations.
In principle, broadening trade with Europe and lessening dependence on the U.S. is an attractive idea. But the details of a deal with the EU could negatively impact many Canadians. It is time, then, to make these negotiations part of the political debate in Canada.
Source | See also under Globalization: Canada, EU at loggerheads over bank tax | Report: U.S. attempting global censorship of GMO food labeling at CODEX Conference | Greek rescue fears hit global stock markets | Cybersecurity event seeks to spur international talks | Greece swallows tough medicine in $150B bailout, more spending cuts announced | Greece erupts as men from IMF prepare to wield axe | European Central Bank chief: Bank of International Settlements to Rule the Global Economy | Greece’s near bankruptcy won’t scuttle Canada-EU trade talks: minister | Harper calls for global economic governance, lauds G20 as ruling forum | Truth and Reconciliation Commission seeks global forum on abuse of native peoples | Big stakes in Canada-Europe trade talks, but little attention | US prepares to push for global capital rules | World Bank gets $3.5-billion boost, revamps voting structure to make China number 3 | Greek bailout not limited to ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬45bn, Flaherty warns | Flaherty wins delay in decision on global bank tax at interim G20 meeting | IMF to move quickly on Greek request for loan | Global bank tax urged by IMF | Abdelrazik’s bank assets frozen | University of Toronto, Peter Munk to reveal new School of Global Affairs | Oil sands deal gives China crucial voting bloc in bitumen export issue | Thousands condemn secrecy of New Zealand round of internet copyright talks | Nuclear summit urges anti-terror treaty | Terence Corcoran: The rise of global statism | Confidential document reveals Obama’s hardline US climate talk strategy | Tucker: Bilderberg To Meet in Spain, Prolong Global Financial Recession For Another Year | Climate talks reopen at Bonn summit | J.P. Morgan rolls into Calgary | Toronto braces for G20 logistics crunch | Hundreds of Toronto G20 delegates granted diplomatic immunity | Britain pushes for new climate talks; IMF and global taxes to figure into wealth redistribution scheme | Clinton’s Arctic comments cheer Inuit | Interpol heads to World Cup in record numbers | Lovelock Calls For End to Democracy as Humans ‘Too Stupid’ to Prevent Climate Change | EU ‘Free Trade’ and CETA: Advancing the Transatlantic Agenda | CETA worse than ACTA — EU Trade Negotiators Demand Canada Completely Overhaul Its Intellectual Property Laws | IMF struggles to conceal glee at Greek deal | Canadians to get biometric, RFID enabled passports in 2011, security experts voice concerns | Toronto G20 summit security to be ‘massive’ | Revealed: ACTA to cover seven categories of intellectual property | New ACTA Leaks Complete Picture of Oppressive Global Copyright Treaty | Banking reforms urgent, Harper says at G20 sherpas’ meeting | RCMP needs 5,500 rooms during G20 summit | G20 ’sherpas’ meet with IMF, World Bank on Ottawa | Pacific North American Regional Integration and Control | MEPs vote overwhelmingly for an EU Tobin Tax | ‘Doomsday’ seed bank growing strongly | IMF chief calls for quota-based global warming slush fund | Frustrated Icelanders vent rage by voting no in referendum | EU considers general carbon tax | Downtown Toronto to become a fortress for G20 summit | IMF chief proposes new reserve currency | Man who broke the Bank of England, George Soros, ‘at centre of hedge funds plot to cash in on fall of the euro’ | Leaked UN Documents Reveal Plan For “Green World Order” By 2012 | EU executive recommends fast-track membership for Iceland | G8/G20: Gearing up for the biggest security event in Canadian history | Inuit group blasts Cannon over summit | Precedent setting meeting called as Canada’s premiers attend Governors Association in Washington DC | Global security to top agenda of G8 foreign ministers | Euro currency union shows strains | G20 security could strangle downtown | Gordon Brown’s plan for global bank tax ‘a step closer’ | EU leaders reach secret Greek bailout deal | Indigenous groups left out of Arctic leaders’ summit | G20’s Metro Convention Centre location to bump baseball, pride activities | ACTA Is Called An ‘Executive Agreement’ To Implement Restrictive Copyright With Less Hassle Than A Treaty | A New Generation of ‘ North American’ Citizens | Hollywood loses landmark copyright case in Australia | EU cautions Greece about its deficit | Global Bank Insurance Levy Wins Support over Transaction Tax at Davos | No solution in dispute over Iceland deposits | Harper urges G20 to follow economic accords | Canadian scientist says UN’s global warming panel ‘crossing the line’ | UN drops deadline for countries to state climate change targets | EU urged to adopt bank supertax | Flaherty to use February G7 in Iqaluit (or Ottawa?) to push for global changes to financial system | Iceland says IMF aid likely delayed | The next big scam: Fraud endemic to carbon market | Reading Between The Still Secret Lines Of The ACTA Negotiations | Sarkozy says world currency disorder unacceptable | Iceland blocks central bank debt repayment deal | For more see The Memory Hole — Globalization