Accredited Third StatesCanadaNews

Canada’s trade relationship with the Caribbean should be allowed to flourish

It is to be hoped that the visit last week to Canada of Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, who in July will become the chair of Caricom, an association of 15 Caribbean nation-states, will help move forward Canada’s free-trade negotiations with Caricom. Canada’s merchandise trade with the Caricom countries is not huge, but the connections in banking, energy, immigration and culture are strong.
Indeed, there is a risk of moving backward. The existing Caribbean-Canada Trade Agreement of 1986 is essentially a unilateral free-trade treaty; many Caribbean goods can enter Canada duty-free, but the converse is not true. The World Trade Organization, quite properly, requires reciprocity in trade agreements; the WTO keeps granting temporary exemptions, but the latest one will expire in December. Both sides need a clear negotiating agenda, which is now lacking.
According to Ms. Persad-Bissessar, some Caribbean countries feel “insecurity and fear” about Canadian exports, but Trinidad and Tobago welcomes a more open economy.

Show More
Back to top button