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Germany pushes EU to demand more of Canada

OTTAWA - Freshly leaked documents show that Germany is pushing the European Union to demand that Canada get rid of its screening system for foreign investors.

In a memo to European officials who are negotiating a free-trade agreement with Canada, Germany says European firms that want to buy into this country should be exempted from the Investment Canada Act.

That's the same law Ottawa is using right now to demand concessions and control the corporate behaviour of a Chinese state-run enterprise trying to take over Calgary-based Nexen Inc.

The memo, obtained by The Canadian Press, is dated Oct. 25, before the latest round of high-level talks in Brussels.

It also urges negotiators to demand more access to the Canadian banking sector.

But at least one Canada trade expert says the EU has little hope of making headway on either of these demands since they are too fundamental to the way Canada's investment regime works.

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