The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a comprehensive free trade agreement under negotiation to liberalize trade in the Asia-Pacific region. Nine countries are currently participating in the negotiations: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States. At last November’s APEC summit in Hawaii, Canada, Mexico and Japan also announced their intentions to begin consultations to join the TPP. Including the participation of all countries potentially involved in this new trade pact, the TPP would represent a market of more than 775 million people and a combined GDP of $25 trillion — a market significantly larger than the European Union (i.e., 493 million people with a GDP of $16 trillion).
With this in mind, at the beginning of the year, the Canadian Government embarked on a public consultation process to allow all interested stakeholders an early opportunity to provide comments, input and advice on possible free trade negotiations with TPP countries.
As outlined in Canada Gazette Vol. 145, No. 53, the government is presently asking Canadian stakeholders for advice and views on any priorities, objectives and concerns with respect to the following:
1. Opinions on areas of goods export interest (identified by Harmonized System [HS]/Tariff codes, if possible), including products that would benefit from the early removal of tariffs and other barriers by TPP countries.
2. Views on market access liberalization for TPP countries products (identified by HS/Tariff codes, if possible) into the Canadian market, including input on those products for which the elimination of tariffs should be expedited or phased-in over time.
3. Advice and views on trade in services, particularly the identification of sectors/activities of export interest for Canadian service providers, and opinions on domestic regulatory measures that restrict or otherwise affect market access for Canadian service providers.
4. Advice, views and experiences regarding the temporary entry of business persons from Canada into TPP countries and into Canada from TPP countries (e.g. impediments to entering or working in TPP countries on a temporary basis, including licensing or certification requirements at the border).
5. Advice, views and experiences regarding measures affecting exports destined for TPP countries, including non-tariff barriers (such as import licensing), technical barriers to trade (including technical regulations, standards and/or conformity assessment procedures) and sanitary and phytosanitary measures.
6. Views on general rules of origin and/or advice on appropriate rules of origin for specific products or sectors.
7. Advice on “trade facilitation” issues (e.g. significant impediments related to import procedures).
8. Advice, views and experiences with customs procedures and with commercial goods entering and/or leaving TPP countries.
9. Advice, views and experiences regarding investment barriers faced by Canadian investors in TPP countries, including restrictions imposed on foreign ownership or entry to market, questions of transparency of regulation, performance requirements (i.e. local content requirements, use of local labour and services), and any other impediments/barriers.
10. Advice and views on government procurement markets of interest to Canadian suppliers and exporters to TPP countries, including the government departments, agencies or enterprises of interest and the goods, services or construction services that Canadian suppliers are interested in selling to those government organizations. Note that participation in government procurement may include bidding as the prime contractor or exporting goods and/or services to the prime contractor who in turn bids on government contracts.
11. Advice, views and experiences regarding barriers (e.g. availability and transparency of information, domestic preferences) when selling or attempting to sell to governments of TPP countries.
12. Views and experiences with the protection of intellectual property rights.
13. Advice and views on competition policy matters, including development of possible cooperation mechanisms.
14. Views on capacity-building measures that could assist developing countries in achieving the objectives of the agreement.
15. Views on ways to reflect the interests and values of Canadians in the area of sustainable development, environmental protection and conservation.
16. Views on ways to reflect the interests and values of Canadians in the areas of workers’ rights, human rights, transparency in business and commercial practices and other social concerns, as they relate to TPP countries.
17. Views on other related issues not mentioned above.
All interested parties are invited to submit their views by February 14, 2012.
Submissions can be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, by fax to 613-944-3489 or by mail to:
Trade Negotiations Consultations (TPP)
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada,
Trade Policy and Negotiations Division II (TPW)
Lester B. Pearson Building,
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G2
Note: Any information submitted will be considered as public information, unless explicitly stated otherwise.