CALGARY, May 23, 2018 – Canada has taken the first step toward ratifying the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). This is an encouraging development for Canada’s farmers and exporters who will be able to take advantage of the benefits of the trade deal sooner, but after dragging its heels so far on ratification, Canada cannot afford to delay any longer, said Carlo Dade, director of the Trade & Investment Centre.

• Other CPTPP countries are moving to position their companies for success by quickly pursuing ratification. Mexico has already ratified, Japan is close to finishing its ratification process, and Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia have all started. Canada should not get left behind.

• The agreement will start once six of the signatories have it ratified by their congress or parliament. Sixty days after the sixth country ratifies, those who have ratified can start to take advantage. Those who have not ratified must sit on their hands and watch the others benefit. That was shaping up to be the case for Canada before the government’s move to take the first step to ratify.

• Ratifying CPTPP establishes Canadian businesses as the supplier of choice and sends a much-needed signal that we are serious about trade in Asia. It positions Canadian firms to pick up market share from American companies that are not part of the agreement.

• The deal gives Canada more leverage in our NAFTA talks. Mexico is using its ratification of CPTPP to gain negotiating advantage in NAFTA talks.

• Since Canada first joined negotiations for the trade deal in 2012, the Harper and Trudeau governments have already had more than 60 committee hearings with roughly 450 experts and stakeholders, received nearly 200 briefs and held consultations in every region of the country with hundreds of additional stakeholders. Each government conducted an economic impact assessment of the agreement. The deal has been exhaustively debated and examined in Canada before signing on. Delay now is inexcusable.

“Getting the CPTPP ratified is badly needed good news for western Canadian farmers out in the fields for spring planting as by this time next year, they could be taking advantage of major trade benefits over our American competitors in Asian markets. But we’re not at the finish line yet. The government has already done extensive consultation – there is no good reason for further delay. The CPTPP is signed; now let’s get it ratified, throw open the doors to major new markets and let our exporters get out ahead of the Americans to take advantage of our hard-fought gains.”

– Carlo Dade, director, Trade & Investment Centre

Further reading

Op-ed: Why Canada must move quickly on the new Asian trade pact

Report: The Art of the Trade Deal: Quantifying the benefits of a TPP without the U.S.