The Challenges of Federalism to Canada's International Trade Relations: The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement
International Journal: Canada's Journal of Global Policy Analysis, Vol 72, Issue 1, 2017
12 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2018
Date Written: March 7, 2017
As one of the first “second-generation” free trade agreements that address indirect and non-tariff barriers, the Canada–European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is likely to serve as an international model. CETA, however, highlights significant challenges for Canadian federalism in both the negotiation and implementation processes of this and any such future trade agreements. While the inclusion of sub-federal governments allows for provinces/territories to help shape the provisions that fall within their jurisdictions, this paper argues that subsequent challenges arise in conveying a unified Canadian commitment to implement the agreement. Overall, the CETA negotiations demonstrated the significant institutional weaknesses of current federal–provincial/territorial relations with respect to international trade agreements. In the Canadian context, this suggests a need for “summit federalism” to ensure that all federal–provincial/territorial governments align their terms and interests and convey a unified commitment to fulfilling Canada’s current and future international trade agreements.
Keywords: International trade, federalism, international trade agreements, trade negotiations, international law, international relations, free trade, Canada, European Union, intergovernmental relations
JEL Classification: F1, F13, F15, F51, F53, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation