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The Canadian Labor Congress says at least 226,000 Canadian jobs have been lost as a result of Canada and the United States signing a free trade agreement two years ago, the Globe and Mail reported Saturday.

The pact, implemented Jan. 1, 1989, will gradually reduce tariffs and other trade barriers between the two countries.

Bruce Campbell, an economist with the labor group, told the newspaper that 75 percent of the manufacturing job losses on their register are linked to the free trade pact.

However, a Canadian government spokesman denied that claim.

Canada has signaled its intention to participate in an expanded free trade agreement to include the United States and Mexico.

However, several Canadian labor leaders have expressed concerns recently that more Canadian jobs would shift to the United States or the duty-free "maquilladora" zone in Mexico if an expanded agreement was approved.

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