NL won’t participate in all trade agreements

Says Ottawa failed to honour commitment related to CETA deal.

ST. JOHN’S, NL — Newfoundland and Labrador says it is suspending its participation in all trade agreements because of its dispute with Ottawa over a promised federal-provincial fisheries fund.

The provincial government says the federal government has failed to honour its commitment to provide $280 million in exchange for the province relinquishing minimum processing requirements for fish plants as part of a free trade deal with Europe.

Provincial Business Minister Darin King says as a result, he has told federal International Trade Minister Ed Fast that Newfoundland and Labrador won’t participate in all trade agreements, including those currently under negotiation.

The federal government has said that an unspecified amount of money would be available for direct losses to the fisheries sector as a result of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the EU.

But it said that those losses would have to be proven and no “blank cheque” was ever offered to the province.

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© 2015 The Canadian Press

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