Canada needs to beef up its support for TPP

Colin Robertson, The Globe and Mail, Tuesday, Jul. 21, 2015

Are we on the cusp of a Trans Pacific Partnership deal? Ministers and negotiators from the 12 partner nations who meet at the end of the week in Maui certainly hope so.

Divisions remain. For Canada, the negotiations on reforming supply management are difficult and divisive. Governments also need to address domestic complaints around transparency and that trade outsources jobs and trumps national sovereignty.Trade agreements were once conducted in privacy and quietly ratified with passing public attention. For Canada that era concluded during negotiation of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (1988). After rancorous but healthy public debate, an election determined its passage.

Trade negotiations today are less about tariffs and more about harmonizing standards and setting rules around trade-distorting internal barriers.

Canada has a major stake in the Trans Pacific Partnership.

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