More than 20 years ago, Canada negotiated a free trade agreement with the United States that attracted enormous public attention. The first FTA – to be followed a few years later by the North American Free Trade Agreement that brought Mexico into the mix – played a pivotal role in a national election and ultimately resulted in dramatic changes to the economy and Canadian law.
My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that earlier this year, Canada and the European Union announced plans to negotiate a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), possibly the biggest Canadian trade negotiations since NAFTA. The first round of talks took place in Ottawa in October, yet the treaty has generated practically no public scrutiny. That may change following the leak last week of the European Union's proposed intellectual property chapter.