Canada to Join EU Free Trade Zone?

If so, great for them.  The more free trade in the world, the better:

Canadian and European officials say they plan to begin
negotiating a massive agreement to integrate Canada's economy with the
27 nations of the European Union, with preliminary talks to be launched
at an Oct. 17 summit in Montreal three days after the federal election.

Trade Minister Michael Fortier and his staff have been engaged for
the past two months with EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson and the
representatives of European governments in an effort to begin what a
senior EU official involved in the talks described in an interview
yesterday as "deep economic integration negotiations."

If successful, Canada would be the first developed nation to have
open trade relations with the EU, which has completely open borders
between its members but imposes steep trade and investment barriers on
outsiders"¦

A pact with the United States would be politically impossible in Europe, senior European Commission officials said.

I would have said that changing the last statement would be a great goal for an Obama administration that wants to make Europe love us again (did they ever?)  But he has made clear that trade does not count in his definition of good relations, and in fact has already committed to initiating trade wars against our neighbors Mexico and Canada.

  • http://blog.jackalopepursuivant.com/ Dan

    My understanding is, there's a very high price to be paid to get "free" trade with Europe.

  • Frederick Davies

    Yeah, the Canadians should better bring a good calculator to compute all the costs due to regulations the EU will make them suffer.

  • View from the Solent

    I can't see how becoming part of a bloc which inhibits trade with the rest of the world is adding to free trade.
    "the EU, which has completely open borders between its members but imposes steep trade and investment barriers on outsiders…"

  • dearieme

    I can't get the link to open, so I'll just guess that the proposition is that they might join the European Economic Area, which includes the EU and non-EU countries like Norway. As the other commenters say, it won't be cost-free.

  • Fred from Canuckistan . . .

    The Euros tend to love the USA when the German or Russian Army is large, well armed and itchy to move.

    Otherwise, not so much.

  • xpatUSA

    Where would that leave the rumored NAU and the Amero?

    " . . an Obama administration that . . has already committed to initiating trade wars against our neighbors Mexico and Canada" - is there a link for this info?

  • ErikTheRed

    The Euros tend to love the USA when the German or Russian Army is large, well armed and itchy to move.

    Otherwise, not so much.

    I have a business that does a lot of importing from Europe, and I have to travel there a few times a year. While their media (much like Canada's and.... ummm... America's) is very anti-US and similar sentiment can be found in some of the lower classes that are more susceptible to populist demagoguery (life sucks and they want something to be angry at), the businesspeople I work with are actually quite warm and friendly to us as Americans. I was pretty shocked by this at first because of all of the media hype, but I'm finding that the media hype is just that. The reputation that Parisians have for disliking Americans seems exceptionally undeserved...

  • hanmeng

    My Obama supporter friend assures me that Obama doesn't really mean his protectionist rhetoric. So... maybe he doesn't mean the other stuff he says, either.

  • http://that-xmas.livejournal.com/ Xmas

    Canada is already on the metric system and their bananas are properly curved. They should be alright.

  • NASCAR Wife

    What does this mean for the US in light of NAFTA. Through NAFTA Canada has virtually free access to the US market. Joining the EU will give Canada free access to the EU market. Will the EU then have free access to the US market (and vice versa) as long as all goods and services are transfered through Canada?

    And what about immigration? The EU requires free movement of people as well as goos/serivices. Will Canada have to take more immigration? Will this affect illegal immigration patterns in the US?

  • Allen

    NASCAR Wife, first off most free trade pacts aren't really free trade, just a big step in that direction. In this case I'd suspect there may be some benefit to the Canadians as middle men IF they can play that role and have trade via them still be less expensive than directly dealing between the USA and Germany (or wherever else in the EU).

    As for immigration, I haven't followed this too closely. But it seems to be a matter of Canada joining the EU free trade zone and not the EU. I'd assume this won't directly affect issues like immigration with Poles and Dutch being able to live in Canada just as though they could live in France or Germany.

  • Emil

    "EU free trade zone" is an oxymoron. Get a taste of the workings of the "free trade" zone here: http://www.financiarul.ro/2008/09/20/romania-will-not-be-penalized-by-ec-because-it-has-not-exceeded-national-milk-quota/ ... Mussolini and Mosley would be proud.

  • Lone Primate

    Allen, they are actually talking about free movement of "skilled labour" between Canada and the EU. I'm not exactly sure where the hurdle would be, but given that we've had an immigration system based on points and predicated on getting skilled labour, rather than just surplus labour, since at least the 1970s, I don't think anyone would really notice the difference. More doctors, engineers, and architects from Europe on top of an extra $40 billion in trade annually? Hey, bring it on.

  • Captain Eurotrash

    "the businesspeople I work with are actually quite warm and friendly to us as Americans. I was pretty shocked by this at first because of all of the media hype"

    As a European I find this very amusing. I could say I'm a little shocked that people actually think we don't like Americans :)

  • an english european

    the high price Europe 'pays' for free trade is have a massive GDP, being the largest exporter in the world and having some of the highest standards of living, as well as the lowest corruption levels in the world. 'Of the more than 5 million Americans employed in the United States by foreign companies in 2005, 3.5 million (58 percent) worked for EU companies. With a payroll of $194 billion, EU companies on average paid U.S. workers 18 percent more than workers were paid at other U.S. firms.' that's the high price Europe pays.....

  • http://www.experience-dating.com/free-online-dating/free-online-dating/canada.html Kim Smith

    Hey, I just want to let everyone know about my new website http://www.experience-dating.com/free-online-dating/free-online-dating/canada.html - This Canada website is free and you do not need to register to use it, with over 10 000 new posts daily its is the best way to meet and chat with single people in Canada.