Free trade negotiations with Costa Rica were launched on June 30, 2000 by International Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew. Previously, the Government of Canada had consulted extensively on whether to embark on this initiative with businesses, citizen-based organizations and Canadians at large, as well as the provinces and territories. The response was positive, especially from small and medium-sized enterprises. See News Release Announcing Launch of June 2000 and ARCHIVED - Canada Gazette Notice of March 2000.
In total, there were seven rounds of negotiations, with the location of talks alternating between Canada and Costa Rica. A wide variety of topics were discussed including market access, competition policy, and institutional provisions and dispute settlement. Separate discussions were also held on labour and environmental issues, resulting in cooperation agreements.
The Canadian and Costa Rican delegations were lead respectively by, Claude Carrière, Director General of Trade Policy at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and Anabel González, Vice-Minister of the Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Trade.
Negotiations were concluded in early April 2001.