Destinations Magazine

Fear of the Maple Menace

By Stizzard
Fear of the maple menace

OF ALL the countries with which the European Union might conclude a trade agreement, Canada ought to be the least controversial. The land of maple syrup and baffling politeness has had a patchwork of sectoral trade and investment deals with Europe since the late 1970s. It currently boasts a liberal government led by an affable young prime minister who is keen on protecting the environment and taking in Syrian refugees. As Chrystia Freeland, the Canadian trade minister, put it in Brussels earlier this month: “If the EU cannot do a deal with Canada, I think it is legitimate to say: Who the heck can it do a deal with?”

The question is apt. On July 5th the European Commission announced that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a long-awaited deal between the EU and Canada, would not be signed by the European Council and European Parliament alone, but would need to be ratified by at least 36 parliaments, both national and provincial. This appeared to contradict previous statements by Jean-Claude Juncker, the commission’s president. It could add four or five years before the agreement takes effect. And it implies that an…

The Economist: Europe

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