Canada and Mexico Trade Relations
While the United States attempts to reach a trade agreement with the EU, Canada is trying to strengthen relations with Mexico. Several weeks ago Foreign Affairs minister John Baird had travelled to Mexico to meet with President Enrique Pena Nieto. There, he emphasized that although there are trilateral agreements between Canada US and Mexico, it is also necessary to develop a bilateral agreement to target issues such as security, employment and the development of common values. Further foreign minister Baird stated “Mexico, in our lifetime, is going to be a top-10 world economy, and potentially in our lifetime a top-five world economy”. Developing closer ties to Mexico may however be difficult, as Canada has often distanced itself from Mexico in the past mainly because of drug violence and border issues. However this has changed. Canada will now fast track Mexican asylum seekers refugee claims and will also remove the need for visitor visa, which has cause frustration to Mexican visitors in the past. But in addition to becoming a top world economy in the near future, Canada also believes that by cozying up to Mexico it can also get itself a foothold in the pacific trade. Mexico along with Peru, Columbia and Chile are creating a Pacific Alliance or a free trade agreement with 10 states in Asean which Canada wants to be a part of. It has been able to obtain observer status in the Pacific Alliance since November, but the Harper government has not stated whether it wishes to receive full membership or not.
Canada and EU
The biggest free trade agreement maybe on its way, as the United States continues talks with the EU on coming to some sort of an arrangement. But Canada has also proposed a free trade agreement with EU, which was in the midst of negotiations until it hit a stand still just last week. EU trade commissioner Karel De Guchet had publically stated that the “trade deal could be scrapped if Canada doesn’t offer more concessions to European demands.” In response Trade Minister Ed Fast stated the “European side hasn’t met “core” Canadian demands, either”. One topic which has sparked such disagreement is Canada’s unwillingness to open up its banking sector and remove its regulatory system which financial experts argue had saved Canada from hitting a fiscal disaster in 2008. But experts say that if Canada wants any agreement to be made it must be done fast as the United States are also starting to discuss free trade.