Negotiators from 12 Pacific Rim countries meet in secret in Vancouver over the weekend of June 15 -- 17th to set new investment rules within the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). No announcement of this "intersessional" on investment has been made to the public or the media. People in Canada first learned about this TPP 'mini' negotiation from an article in the Peruvian media Friday. For more on the Vancouver meetings, check out this article by Stuart Trew.
With Prime Minister Harper making the diplomatic rounds in Europe, media interest has heightened this week regarding the potential free trade agreement which his government is trying to negotiate with the European Union. Several deadlines to reach that deal have come and gone, but the Conservatives are still heavily committed to reaching a deal as a centrepiece of their economic strategy. The more politically desperate they become to reach a deal, the greater the likelihood of damaging concessions (in areas like foreign takeovers, drug patents, and others).