Former free trade negotiator Derek Burney: Rejection of Keystone XL would violate NAFTA

Fred Chartrand/CP

Fred Chartrand/CP


Derek Burney, the former Canadian ambassador to the United States and a key player in both the US-Canada Free Trade Agreement and NAFTA negotiations, says that if Barack Obama rejects the Keystone XL pipeline proposal, he will be violating NAFTA provisions that allow Canada unfettered access to US energy markets.

Mr. Burney, who was also Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's chief of staff, tells Carol that a rejection on what he says are "dubious" environmental grounds would give Canada a very strong challenge under the agreement.

Mr. Burney is also a lawyer and director on the board of TransCanada, the company behind Keystone XL, but he says these are his own opinions based on years of working on trade agreements.

You can listen to Derek Burney's conversation with Carol by clicking on the "listen" link above.

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