The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is noteworthy for the expanded role that Canadian provinces and territories played in the negotiation. In this particular instance, these sub-federal actors had a seat at the negotiating table at the request of their European Union partners. However, this paper argues that CETA is exceptional in this regard. Despite the fact that regional trade agreements increasingly contain provisions that relate to areas of provincial and territorial jurisdiction, each trade negotiation is distinct. The CETA experience should not create the expectation that provinces and territories will always participate in the same capacity. Any enhanced role will depend on the federal government’s strategic assessment of any specific trade negotiation.

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CIGI Papers present in-depth analysis and discussion on governance-related subjects. They include policy papers that present CIGI experts' positions or contributions to policy debates, and background papers that contain research findings, insights and data that contribute to the development of policy positions.
  • Patricia Goff is a CIGI senior fellow. She is also an associate professor of political science at Wilfrid Laurier University and the Balsillie School of International Affairs.