June 19, 2012 - Prime Minister Stephen Harper today welcomed the announcement by TPP members of their support for Canada joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
“Opening new markets and creating new business opportunities leads to jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for all Canadians,” said Prime Minister Harper. “A TPP agreement will enhance trade in the Asia-Pacific region and will provide greater economic opportunity for Canadians and Canadian businesses.”
Canada has been a driving force for global and regional trade liberalization and has set a high standard of ambition in its trade agreements. Joining the TPP is consistent with Canada’s active and ongoing engagement in the Asia-Pacific region and its commitment to free and open trade. In addition to the TPP, Canada is exploring free trade with Thailand and has begun free trade negotiations with Japan.
The TPP is a free trade agreement currently under negotiation by nine countries: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. The current membership represents a market of 510 million people and a GDP of $17.6 trillion. With the participation of Canada and Mexico the market will comprise 658 million people and a GDP of $20.5 trillion. Canada will proceed to enter the talks at the earliest opportunity.
DEEPENING TRADE AND ECONOMIC TIES WITH THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION
Canada’s interest in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is consistent with its active and ongoing engagement in the Asia-Pacific region and its commitment to free and open trade. Asia-Pacific is one of the world’s fastest-growing economic regions, with a growth rate of two to three times the global average. Being well-positioned in the region is critical to Canada’s economic growth and long-term prosperity.
Canada has a strong, resilient and competitive economy that represents a larger market than any of the current TPP members, other than the United States. The participation of Canada and Mexico, alongside the United States and other TPP members, in the development of a 21st Century trade agreement would lead to deeper trade and investment partnerships, enhanced economic integration and job creation in Canada.
Since announcing its interest in joining the TPP at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Summit in November 2011, Canada has held consultations with all nine TPP member countries in order to gain their support.
Each country has its own domestic process to ratify Canada’s participation that will now unfold. Canada will proceed to enter the talks at the earliest opportunity thereafter, expected to be early this fall.
TPP negotiations continue with the next round scheduled for July 2-10 in San Diego, California.
Since 2006, Canada has concluded new trade agreements with nine countries and has launched free trade negotiations with over 60 others. This includes current trade negotiations with the European Union, Canada’s most significant trade initiative since the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Earlier this year, Canada launched negotiations toward a free trade agreement with Japan, which will generate billions of dollars in commercial flows between the two countries. Canada also announced formal exploratory talks towards a potential free trade agreement with Thailand, Canada’s largest bilateral trade partner in Southeast Asia.