TPP trade agreement passes with 11 member states

Like any trade deal, there's good news and bad news in TPP II for Canada; the big win is access to the Japanese market, which will be a big boost for grain producers and the beef and cattle industry.

The agreement comes after Canada made worldwide news when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refused to agree to the proposed TPP11 - so named because 11 countries are included - at a conference in Vietnam in November.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada and the remaining 11 countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed to a revised trade agreement.

US President Donald Trump pulled America out of the deal a year ago after describing it as "a continuing rape of our country".

The importance of the new deal, from Canada's perspective, is heightened because the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations with the US and Mexico are contentious.

"We have made significant efforts to uphold the spirit and substance of the original agreement, while maintaining its high ambition and overall balance", said Lim Hng Kiang, Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry.

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"I think the TPP has become a symbol of open markets, against the Trump unilateralism, but if you actually look at what is in the TPP it does reinforce monopolies which are the opposite of open markets", she said.

Canada returned its backing to the TPP after nearly pulling off a Trump last November in a bid to protect its cultural industries, such as movies, TV and music.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said last week that the new agreement would leave a door open for eventual USA participation. Investor-state dispute mechanisms allow corporations to challenge environmental regulations and could put a chill on governments trying to fight climate change.

A previous round of talks last November ended in disarray after Canada objected to parts of the proposed text and Trudeau was lambasted for missing a key meeting with Japan's prime minister on how to secure a deal.

But, an even greater concern is the impact that TPP II will have on NAFTA negotiations dealing with the auto sector.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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