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2010: EU-Canada Trade Simulation - Round 1

Monday, June 7, 2010 - 07:00 - Friday, June 11, 2010 - 07:00

The Centre for Trade Policy and Law (CTPL) hosted a trade simulation based on the current Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). 

The draft negotiated text is available here (PDF, 286kb).

The trade simulation took place during June 7-11, 2010 where graduate students and young professionals engaged in an interactive forum that simulates the current state of the CETA negotiations. Through careful preparation and mentoring by some of Canada’s most prominent trade practitioners, participants were challenged to generate new ideas and formulate realistic scenarios as outcomes to the current negotiation process. The text created at the end of the five day simulation was shared with both the Canadian and European Chief negotiators.

This year’s focus is on engaging young professionals and graduate students in informed discussions about EU-Canada relations, with a specific focus on bilateral trade through the use of a trade simulation. During the simulation, participants exercised a variety of communication and critical thinking skills in order to effectively represent the position of their assigned country. Students learned the importance of active listening, conflict resolution, and technical writing. Participants were organized into delegations in order to represent the needs of a particular country. Individuals took on the role of a diplomat and researched their country’s position on a negotiating topic (Government Procurement, Trade in Services and Investment, Trade in Goods, TRIPS, etc.). Each delegation was paired with a coach to help guide them through the process and answer any technical questions.

The assembly was chaired by a prominent Canadian member of the international trade community, and each team’s performance was assessed by a team of former trade negotiators.

Event Details

This simulation was based on the current agenda for Canada and EU negotiations. For the purposes of the simulation, participants were divided between two teams, one representing Canada and the other European Union. Each team consisted of four groups of two-to-three students for total of eight-to-twelve members on each team. Each group was responsible for one of the identified priority issues. The simulation took place over a five-day period. Teams of students acted as delegates from either Canada or the European Union. Participants were required to thoroughly research the position of the country. All preparations, position papers and news releases, and other pertinent information about the simulation was posted on

Participants drafted and agreed on a negotiating text of a bilateral Free Trade Agreement setting out approaches to the principle issues in the negotiations (Trade in Goods, including Agriculture; Services and Investment; Government Procurement; and intellectual property rights). In addition, the chief negotiators were asked to formulate approaches to the two issues, of Trade & Environment and Trade & Labour. The agreed text of the simulation, was shared and disseminated among both the Canadian and EU governments. The goal of this simulation is to educate and inform the public of pertinent Canada-EU trade issues.

CTPL appreciates the financial contribution from the European Commission to the CTPL Canada-EU CETA research program.