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Canada free trade talks.

CANADA FREE TRADE TALKS. Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin started free-trade talks with a group of more than a dozen Caribbean nations, saying negotiators will have more time now that momentum to create a larger trade bloc for the Western Hemisphere has slowed, reports Bloomberg News (Jan. 12, 2004).:

The announcement is evidence of waning interest by Canada, which has the second-largest economy in the Americas, to push for a resolution of differences between the U.S. and Brazil over farm subsidies. Martin said their impasse had marooned talks, making the end-of-year deadline for the 34-country Free Trade Area of the Americas "a bit optimistic." Martin took over as Canada's prime minister in December. Jean Chretien, his predecessor, launched exploratory talks with the Caribbean group in January 2001;

Trade between Canada and the Caribbean Community and Common Market was about C$867 million (US$679 million) in 2000, according to the Canadian Trade Department. Martin said he wasn't abandoning a larger agreement for North, Central and South America. "We are going to continue on a parallel track and push for the free-trade deal of the Americas, but at the same time, we are going to enter into individual negotiations with individual countries and groups of countries." Canada, a partner in the North American Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. and Mexico, has separate accords with Chile, Costa Rica and Israel. It is also negotiating with a group of four Central American countries (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua).
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Title Annotation:The Region
Publication:Caribbean Update
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:50CAR
Date:Feb 1, 2004
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