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Dear Minister Champagne,
On behalf of the Business Council of Canada, I offer the following views on Canada’s participation in Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP 11) negotiations.
The Business Council of Canada was an avid supporter of the original 12-member TPP agreement. The Council’s support for the TPP was premised on the desire for Canada to diversify its trade relationships with dynamic Asian markets, many of which are members of the TPP.
The United States’ withdrawal from the TPP does not diminish the Council’s support for this important agreement. The TPP 11 promises to be a valuable instrument for promoting increased Asia-Pacific trade and investment. Canada’s participation will dramatically expand our network of trade partnerships, ensuring new customers for Canadian manufacturers, service suppliers, seafood producers and farmers. This will enhance Canadian competitiveness, enable trade diversification and generate stronger employment and economic growth in Canada.
According to economic analysis by the former Deputy Chief Economist of Global Affairs Canada, Dan Ciuriak, the TPP 11 could be more beneficial to Canada than the original agreement. Canadian companies would gain a significant first mover advantage over competitors in key markets including Australia, Vietnam, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore. Most importantly, Canada will secure preferential access to Japan, our second-largest trading partner in Asia.
The agreement will also serve to position Canada as one of the most open countries in the world with privileged access to key markets across North America, Europe and Asia. This is increasingly important at a time when protectionism and inward-looking policies are proliferating. Concluding the TPP 11 would send a strong signal about the benefits of international economic cooperation.
Of equal importance, the TPP 11 has the potential to set the standard for rules-based trade in the Americas and Asia. With the potential for future expansion to new members, including Indonesia, the Philippines and South Korea, the TPP 11 could grow to become the dominant framework for regional trade. Canada’s must not be left behind.
Minister, the TPP 11 represents a historic opportunity for Canada to improve its access to key markets in the Asia-Pacific. The Business Council of Canada urges the government to conclude negotiations on the margins on the upcoming APEC Leaders’ Meeting and implement the agreement as quickly as possible.