The TPP is a proposed trade agreement between several Pacific Rim countries, including Canada. The TPP seeks to lower trade barriers, establish a common framework for intellectual property, enforce standards for labour law and environmental law, and establish an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism. The Peterson Institute for International Economic estimates that by 2025, the TPP could boost Canadian incomes by an additional $10 billion per year and raise global incomes by $295 billion per year.
While the TPP would have significantly lowered tariffs paid by Canadian exporters of meat, grain, oil seeds, seafood and certain forest products, other sectors were worried about the risks to their investments and intellectual property and about having to compete with companies that have an unfair advantage because of subsidies or weak environmental and labour standards. Ultimately, the deal failed to close because of disagreements, notably on dairy, sugar, automobiles and pharmaceuticals.
We shouldn’t point fingers because every country has its sensitive areas. And it’s harder for politicians, particularly now that Canada and the United States are going into election season. That’s why it’s more important than ever that Canadian business and Canada’s chambers of commerce raise their voices to say that free trade will help us win more deals, make us wealthier and help us create better, higher-paying jobs.
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