Ottawa Must Weigh Impact of Free Trade Agreements on Multilateral Trade: C.D. Howe Institute

    TORONTO, Oct. 15 /CNW/ - Before continuing a headlong rush to form free
trade agreements with partners around the globe, Ottawa should pause to
consider the effects of a web of FTAs, according to an e-brief released today
by the C.D. Howe Institute. In "Stumbling Forward on Trade: The Doha Round,
Free Trade Agreements, and Canada," author Matthew B. Adler argues that FTAs
tend to interfere with multilateral trade negotiations, which potentially
would deliver broader benefits.
    Canada's federal government has initiated or negotiated trade agreements
with numerous countries, notes Adler, including Colombia, Peru, and Korea and,
most recently, the European Union. However, Adler shows that the benefit a
country derives from an FTA may cause it to approach multilateral trade
negotiations with more reluctance to liberalize than otherwise. And while FTAs
appear to be an attractive backup to the potential failure of the current
multilateral "Doha Round," says Adler, FTAs cannot be enacted without running
the risk that they will make the Doha Round harder to complete. Adler's
conclusion: if Canada truly values the multilateral trading system, Ottawa's
leadership should put a priority on a successful outcome for Doha.
    The e-brief is available at LINK:

For further information:

For further information: Matthew Adler, Research Assistant, Peterson
Institute for International Economics, (202) 454-1337; Robin Banerjee, Policy
Analyst, C.D. Howe Institute, (416) 865-1904,

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