Wednesday, February 21, 2018

TPP deal lacks offensive U.S. demands

The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal has been stripped of a couple of provisions the United States insisted on having before Donald Trump won the presidency and pulled the country out of the negotiations.

Gone are clauses that favour pharmaceutical companies and increased the reach and power of U.S. intellectual property rights.

What remain are the market access gains for dairy and poultry.

There have been comments from negotiators that re-opening those terms would have led to another round of complex and tense negotiations.

But in Canada, supply management defenders say that Canada ought not have given up that much market access, apparently believing it was U.S. pressure that prompted the concessions.

There were, however, stronger objections from New Zealand and Australia to Canada’s protections for dairy farmers.

What is clear is that Canada’s grains, oilseeds, pork and beef sectors are all positioned now for major export gains, especially of premium-quality products for Japanese consumers.

The text of the agreement was released Wednesday.