On March 8th, 2018, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade, along with trade ministers from the other ten TPP-11 member countries, signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in Santiago, Chile.
The text of the CPTPP was released to the public on February 20th (available online here). The text is very concise, consisting of only seven articles and one brief annex. The text of the side instruments involving Canada, which provide the more substantive negotiated outcomes of the CPTPP, were released yesterday (available online here). The core issues negotiated in the side letters include:
- Cultural industries, including requirements regarding Canadian content development and restrictions on access to on-line foreign audio-visual content;
- Wine and spirits, including covenants from Canada with regard to mark-ups, cost of service differentials and other pricing measures;
- Commitments in respect of geographical indications; and
- Agreements on rules of origin for motor vehicles.
In concluding the agreement, Canada continues to expand and diversify its major regional trade agreements beyond the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which is currently undergoing difficult negotiations with uncertain outcomes. Notably, the CPTPP updates the terms of trade between Canada and Mexico.