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India envoy says Canada has asked to pause trade talks amid rapid negotiation cycle

OTTAWA — India’s envoy to Canada says Ottawa has tapped the brakes on trade negotiations, just before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau heads to New Delhi.

India’s High Commissioner, Sanjay Kumar Verma, says Ottawa sought a pause within the last month to ongoing talks for what’s called a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

Verma says he’s not sure why Ottawa requested the stop, but he says the negotiations have proceeded at a rapid pace, and suspects the government wants to better consult stakeholders.

Since March 2022, the two countries have been negotiating a deal restricted to certain industries, instead of the entire economy.

Trade Minister Mary Ng and Global Affairs Canada have been asked to comment. 

Trudeau heads to Asia next week as part of a visit that will end with the G20 summit in New Delhi, while Ng is set to lead a trade mission to India in October.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 1, 2023.

The Canadian Press