On 30 December 2018, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) entered into force among the first six countries to ratify the agreement: Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore. On 14 January 2019, the CPTPP entered into force for Vietnam.
The first meeting of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Commission, the institution that oversees the Agreement, was held on 19 January 2019. The Commission is composed of government representatives of each Party at the level of Ministers or senior officials and takes decisions by consensus. Its functions include considering any matter relating to the implementation or operation of the Agreement, reviewing the economic relationship and partnership among its Parties, considering proposals to amend or modify the Agreement, supervising the work of all committees, working groups and any other subsidiary bodies established under the Agreement, and addressing matters related to dispute settlement. The Commission meeting “allowed CPTPP countries to chart a course for next steps as well as agree on a framework for the accession of new members“.
The eleven countries that are party to the CPTPP (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam) form one of the largest trading areas in the world, accounting for nearly 13.5% of global GDP and together ranking as Canada’s third-largest trading partner.
If you are a producer, exporter, or importer of products in either Canada or a CPTPP country, it’s time to start considering how the elimination of tariffs, subject to the rules of origin, and competitive market access through tariff rate quotas (TRQs) could provide new opportunities for your business. This applies not only to exporters looking to establish their products or increase their market share in CPTPP markets, but also to importers who are in a position to diversify their supply sources on competitive terms.