“By signing on to the TPP, the federal government has taken an important leap toward securing Canada’s long-term strategic interests in the Asia-Pacific region. Opening new markets is key to Canadian competitiveness,” said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “Canada’s market share in Asia is below potential and Canada has no full trade agreements with Asian countries yet. The TPP will provide enhanced access to a series of markets recognized as gaining importance in global trade and investment.”
The TPP has been an impressive exercise in multilateral negotiations since the first four member states signed their agreement in 2005. With the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations stalled, countries are quickly turning to bilateral and regional free trade agreements (FTAs) to foster trade and investment opportunities, many of which are in Asia.
“I congratulate Prime Minister Stephen Harper, International Trade Minister Ed Fast and Canadian government officials for their efforts over the past several months to ensure Canada’s formal entry to the TPP negotiations,” Mr. Beatty said.
The TPP is a trade agreement, under negotiation by 11 countries, which now includes Canada and Mexico. The other members are Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. Canada’s formal entry into the negotiations follows the completion of domestic consultations, which all TPP members are required to undertake before approving new members.
With Canada and Mexico, the TPP market represents more than 658 million people and a combined GDP of $20.5 trillion.
In less than six years, Canada has concluded trade agreements with nine countries: Colombia, Honduras, Jordan, Panama, Peru, and the European Free Trade Association member states of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Canada has also begun deepening trade and investment ties with the largest markets in the world, including the European Union, India and Japan.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce also looks toward developing global opportunities as an important part of the Ontario economy emerging stronger from the recent recession.