Canada must participate in new Indo-Pacific initiative
Letter from Goldy Hyder to The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, P.C., M.P. Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Canada, and The Honourable Mary Ng, P.C., M.P. Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development regarding the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity.
Tomorrow the United States will welcome more than a dozen countries for the first in-person ministerial of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF). Canada will not be present either as a participant or as an observer. This is cause for concern.
Since President Joe Biden launched IPEF in May, the Business Council of Canada has urged the Government of Canada to participate in this ambitious new regional initiative. It is imperative that Canada participate in discussions which could set the future rules for digital trade, as well as environmental and labour standards. IPEF could also result in new efforts to enhance regional supply chain coordination and resiliency
The fact that Canada was not invited to join IPEF from the outset suggests we are not seen by some as an Indo-Pacific country with significant ties and interests in the region. If we fail to express a strong interest in joining IPEF, we can expect to be excluded from similar Indo-Pacific initiatives in the future.
Given the degree to which Canada’s economy is integrated with that of the United States, it is vital that we are not marginalized or disadvantaged by U.S.-led trade initiatives. On matters related to our most important economic partner, we cannot be left on the outside looking in.
I strongly encourage you to send a swift, public, and formal signal of Canada’s interests in IPEF to your counterparts, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.
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