Jean Charest disturbed by U.S. talk of reopening free-trade deal
3 March 2008
MONTREAL - Premier Jean Charest is using talk of reopening the North American free-trade deal to help his efforts to get a free-trade accord between Canada and the European Union.
Charest said in Montreal today he’s disturbed by suggestions from U.S. Democratic hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama they would revisit NAFTA if either became president in November.
Charest told a conference on manpower mobility the Democratic candidates’ musings are yet another reason why Canada should sign a deal with the EU, which is comprised of 27 countries.
Canada and the EU have have committed to conducting preliminary studies to see if a trade deal is feasible.
Charest says he hopes negotiations can begin in the fall when French President Nicolas Sarkozy - who will then be presiding over the EU - visits Quebec City.
The premier says he also wants to sign a manpower-mobility agreement with France and an economic accord with Ontario as well as bolstering the Quebec economy and recognizing the qualifications of workers trained outside Quebec.