Who is Peter Kent? Known to many because of his background as a journalist, (or as a talking head, as some call him), he shot out on the political scene in English Canada as Israel bombed Gaza to bits.
Kent is Canada’s junior minister for foreign affairs. After the holiday lull, he cut his teeth taking a strong position against Hamas during Israel’s attack on Gaza that raged through the first month of January.
But Kent’s real role is as Canada’s free trade attack dog in the Americas. He did a high profile tour of Central America, (which I wrote about here, here, and here) pushing for renewed trade talks with the Isthmus.
economic interest engagement in the Americas didn’t start with Peter Kent, but rather, it was put into motion by Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.
By last spring, a bilateral Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Peru had been signed. The deal was quietly tabled on January 27th. A deal with Colombia has been signed, but is facing a more concerted resistance because of the egregious human rights violations there.
Peter Kent will most likely spend the next couple of years presiding over trade deal after trade deal between Canada and the leaders of Latin American nations.
His name might not be a household name, but Kent’s go-to role in the Americas will certainly be remembered by economists and activists throughout the hemisphere.