Canada released an announcement today that the 12 Pacific-rim countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have reached an “ambitious, complex and comprehensive TPP agreement.” The 12 TPP countries are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States. The TPP countries represent a total market of nearly 800 million people.
Eighty one percent of Canada’s total exports currently are destined to TPP member countries. The Canadian Government has indicated that, through the TPP agreement, Canada will gain preferential access to growing Asia-Pacific markets, by eliminating tariffs and other barriers to trade, while bolstering Canada’s strategic position in the global economy.
The Agreement will eliminate tariffs imposed on products in a wide-range of sectors, including agriculture and agri-food, fish and seafood, forestry, metals and mining, and manufactured industrial goods. The TPP also promises to improve access to financial, professional, architectural and engineering services, as well as research and development, environmental, construction and transportation services.
The Government has stated that the TPP investment chapter will establish “strong rules” offering investors protections such as fair and equitable treatment, non-discriminatory treatment, and protections against expropriation, while at the same time allowing the governments to legislate and regulate in the public interest.
Canada has indicated that the commitments with respect to financial services aim to ensure that markets will remain open for Canadian financial services suppliers, and at the same time, Canadian investments will be protected. The Government has also announced that the TPP will create new opportunities and further develop existing markets in the TPP region for Canadian producers and exporters of forestry and value-added wood products.
Last week, the Canadian Government had also announced that the TPP will set a “strong regional standard” for the protection and enforcement of Intellectual Property (IP) rights, and had indicated that the agreement would give investors and businesses confidence that the same IP rules will be applied across the TPP region.
A technical summary of the TPP agreement was posted on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Development Canada’s website, with details related to the following chapters:
- National Treatment and Market Access for Goods
- Textiles and Apparel
- Rules of Origin and Origin Procedures
- Customs Administration and Trade Facilitation
- Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
- Technical Barriers to Trade
- Trade Remedies
- Cross-Border Trade in Services
- Financial Services
- Temporary Entry for Business Persons
- Electronic Commerce
- Government Procurement
- Competition Policy
- State-Owned Enterprises and Designated Monopolies
- Intellectual Property
- Competitiveness and Business Facilitation
- Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
- Regulatory Coherence
- Transparency and Anticorruption
- Institutional Provisions
- Dispute Settlement
- Summary of the Tariff Schedule
The Ministers have announced that the text of the TPP agreement will be released after the technical review, the translation and the legal review are completed. Before coming into force, the agreement will have to be ratified by each country. In Canada, it is expected that the TPP agreement will be tabled during the next session of Parliament.