The issue with trade negotiations is that they are reciprocal negotiations. In order to gain something in a negotiation your country has to be willing to make a concession to the other country. To gain something you have to be willing to give something. On tariffs you have to agree to lower your tariffs in certain sectors in order to make gains in the other country’s market. Therefore, it is important that any time you are seeking to make an advantage you have to be willing to cede something in your own market.
Canada is a federal state with a division of power between the federal Government and the provinces, with some matters of jurisdiction at the authority of the federal Government, some at the provinces and some split between the two. The federal Government has authority for negotiating and signing trade agreements, but they involve the provinces very heavily in that process. Their approach for incorporating the provinces has been ad hoc rather than formalised in nature and it has also been evolving over a period of several decades.
A week after the state of intergovernmental relations (IGR) in the UK was highlighted by the UK government’s law officers standing in opposition to their devolved counterparts in the UK Supreme Court, the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee published a report on improving IGR after Brexit. Jack Sheldon discusses the methods by which England could gain distinct representation — something it currently lacks — in a new IGR system.