On February 3, 2016, Canada and the United States, along with ten other Pacific Rim countries signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, referred to as “the largest, most ambitious free trade initiative in history.” The signing kicks off a two-year ratification period, during which the United States, Japan and at least four of the remaining ten countries must approve the final legal text in order for the deal to take effect. 

In Canada, the TPP must be tabled in Parliament for consideration and debate before it is ratified and implemented into Canadian law. This process has started with the announcement last week of the initiation of a full Parliamentary Committee study into the TPP. 

As part of its study, the Committee is inviting Canadian organizations to express their views on the TPP agreement via written submissions. Those who wish to provide a written submission must do so before 23:59 EDT on April 30th, 2016. 

Canadians may also request to testify before the Committee in Ottawa, either as an individual or as a representative of an organization. In addition to Ottawa hearings, the Committee expects to hold hearings across Canada over the coming months. Information will be provided about dates and locations of these hearings at a later date. 

The text of the TPP and Canada’s side agreements can be found at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development’s website