Report Urges Canada to Step Up Efforts on Caribbean Free Trade Pact

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Above: Roseau, Dominica (CJ Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Canada should ramp up efforts to reach a trade deal with the Caribbean Community this year, according to a new report from the Toronto-based CD Howe Institute.

The report, “A Canada-CARICOM Trade-not-Aid Strategy: Important and Achievable,” author Phil Rourke said the deal could serve as an exemplar for other agreements with developing countries.

“Canada’s aggressive trade negotiation strategy needs to close some deals and divert resources to others, such as in Asia, if it is to be successful,” he said. “While the Canada-CARICOM negotiations have made little progress to date, a more development-friendly model with a narrower agenda could wrap up the deal relatively quickly.”

Rourke said Canada was used to putting together trade deals with developed countries, and “its model for negotiations reflects that.

“The future trade agenda is mainly in the developing world, where Canada has less experience,” he said. “Because a trade deal with CARICOM could serve as a model for future trade pacts with other countries, these negotiations should make the cut on Canada’s priority list.”

Trade talks between the two sides first launched in 2007.

 

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