Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Canada waiting on TPP

The Trudeau government is waiting to see more clarity from U.S. politicians before revealing whether it will sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal in February.

Reuters reports that it’s not yet clear what the Americans will do about the 12-nation deal negotiated under the leadership of President Barack Obama.

The Senate, which holds the power to ratify or reject the deal, is under majority control of Republicans.

Reuters says Trudeau’s Liberals are pro-trade, but also says it’s under pressure from unions that fear job losses.

It says nothing about the intellectual property rights issues raised by Jim Balsillie, former co-head of Blackberry.

Reuters says “Canadian ministers are talking to a wide range of business interests as well as critics like Jerry Dias, who heads the labour union Unifor and calls TPP “a complete mess from top to bottom.”

TPP provisions making it easier for Japanese auto makers to export duty free into North America will lead to tens of thousands of job losses in Canada, said Dias, who also worries about opening up Canada’s protected dairy market.

Dias said he told trade minister Chrystia Freeland and her team “is it better to be part of a terrible deal or is it better to be part of no deal?”