* To succeed in future global trade, the Trans-Pacific Partnership will expand on existing tree trade agreements to address 21st century issues. The TPP will create a standardized platform on which countries will effectively operate. The TPP will focus on issues such as barriers to trade, the digital sphere, privacy laws, and green technologies. The TPP also hopes to act as a bridge to improve trade and investment from Asia. * Membership in the TPP will prove to be very important for the Canadian economy. This free trade agreement will help to drive production and competition by opening up a global marketplace. Membership in the TPP will also present Canada with several issues. Current TPP members, mainly the United States and New Zealand, are adamant that Canada’s supply management of agricultural sectors be open for discussion. Canada’s relatively lenient laws with copyright protection will also be looked at. While many support protecting Canada’s current laws, many see this as an opportunity to re-define trade and abolish an outdated system for stabilizing the farming industry. * 15 rounds of negotiations have occurred, and we can only speculate what will materialize. Many questions remain in regards to Canada’s supply management as well as if Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea and China will join the discussions. *
* What is the TPP?
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a free trade agreement formed in 2007 that seeks to further expand the “flow of goods, services and capital across boarders.” The TPP has expanded on the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (P4). 11 countries are currently in negotiations for the TPP, including Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, Mexico, the United States and Canada. The members have a “combined population of 658 million people and combined GDP of $20.5 trillion”.
All TPP countries are also members of the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation. The TPP plans to expand to include all APEC members who represent over 40% of world trade.
Not only does the TPP cover trade, but the politics that will be used when managing future economic relations. The TPP looks at goods, and is also interested in services, labour, the environment, investment and government procurement.
Because the Doha negotiations are at a stand still, countries are looking to regional trade agreements to promote trade and investment growth. Trade negotiation can be time-consuming and inefficient between middle-income or developing markets due to inadequate experience and lack of trade regulation. Because of its market size, The TTP has more power than if negotiating with just one country.
CANADA AND THE TPP
In 2005, Canada initially turned down its opportunity to join the TPP because of concerns over its agricultural policy and intellectual rights protection. However, to strengthen ties to Eastern Asian markets, Canada announced in late 2011 that it would be joining the agreement.
14 rounds of negotiations have already occurred without Canadian contribution. Because Canada has joined the TPP negotiations mid-process, Canada must agree to several conditions.
To join the partnership, Canada must accept the terms already made by the TPP partners and will not be able to reopen settled agreements. Canada will also not have “veto authority”, meaning that Canada must accept a term if all other countries agree upon it. *
How the TPP could benefit Canada
The TPP involves countries that account for 28% of the global gross domestic product, which makes it one of the world’s largest trading packs.
Through the TPP, Canada would be granted access to new markets for exports. If Japan were to join the agreement, the TPP would cover 80% of Canada’s export market. Participating in the TPP will mean heightened and more secure access to emerging...