Politics

Canada not joining Pacific Alliance trade bloc yet

After a day of meetings with Latin American leaders in Colombia, Prime Minister Stephen Harper says it's too early to say whether Canada should seek full membership in the group, which currently includes Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru.

Canada already has free trade deals with all members: Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, front right, was part of the official photo at the Pacific Alliance Summit in Cali, Colombia on Thursday. Canada has observer status for these trade negotiations. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Stephen Harper says Canada is not ready yet to join the Pacific Alliance trade bloc.

After a day of meetings with Latin American leaders in Colombia, the prime minister said it's too early to say whether Canada should seek full membership in the group, which currently includes Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru.

Critics have argued that Canada should resist flirting with the bloc, pointing out that Canada is involved in a multitude of trade talks, and that Canada has free-trade agreements with the four key countries already.

The Pacific Alliance aims to break down barriers not just in goods, but also services, people and capital.

The four founding members are focusing on removing those barriers internally first, before bringing in other members to form one of the largest integrated economies in the world.

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