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OTTAWA — It’s getting awfully crowded out there in the free-trading world.

The seemingly endless hunt for new global partners is redefining the traditional and hard-fought rules of engagement between nations.

So much so, observers say, the old world order — remember the WTO, and GATT before it — has increasingly become a sideshow to the proliferation of bilateral, trilateral and, often, multi-lateral agreements.

Even the term “free trade” no longer accurately describes the “new world” of negotiations — one that encompasses far more than what and how products are permitted to slide under domestic tariff radars.

For Canada, we can now add South Korea...

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