Opposition could stall agreement
PANAMA. The free trade agreement between Canada and Panama signed August 11 may be stalled or even defeated in Canada’s Parliament unle...
PANAMA. The free trade agreement between Canada and Panama signed August 11 may be stalled or even defeated in Canada’s Parliament unless Prime Minister Stephen Harper can convince at least one opposition party to overcome concerns about Panama’s tax policies.
Lawmakers from all three opposition parties said that while no decisions have been made, they may oppose the agreement over concerns that Panama is a tax haven.
Panama’s tax policies are “an area where we have a concern,” Scott Brison, the main opposition Liberal Party’s trade critic, said yesterday in an interview from Wolfville, Nova Scotia. “We are evaluating this particular agreement and will determine through the committee process whether or not it’s in the best interest of Canada.” A refusal to pass the accord by opposition lawmakers would hamper Harper’s foreign policy strategy of forging tighter links with the Americas.