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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The E.U.’s Federal System: Thwarting a Trade Deal with Canada

Dwarfed by the arduous trade negotiations between the E.U. and U.S., the E.U. and Canada actually completed negotiations on a free-trade deal in February, 2016. Ratification had to be pushed back from the fall. The drag from the “deep suspicion over the benefits of unrestricted trade” that was increasing globally was ostensibly the reason.[1] I contend that the true obstacle was the amount of sovereignty that the E.U. states still retained in the Union. Americans can think back to the Articles of Confederation as having the same major drawback. In the E.U.’s case, however, the Union had evolved past being a confederation, given the governmental sovereignty already at the federal level. The veto-power of a state government was thus out of place, and thus an obstacle for the E.U. even in fulfilling its existing responsibilities at the federal level.

The complete essay is at Essays on Two Federal Empires.

[1] Paul Vieira, “Antitrade Sentiment Thwarts Talks,” The Wall Street Journal, August 30, 2016.