TORONTO, Feb. 9, 2012 /CNW/ - Canada needs a seat at negotiations toward
a new Trans-Pacific Partnership on trade to reap the full benefits of
doing business with the emerging powerhouse economies of East Asia,
according to a report released today by the C.D. Howe Institute. In Can Canada Join the Trans-Pacific Partnership? Why wanting it is not
enough, trade expert Dr. Laura Dawson notes the new trade pact could eventually
account for half of global output and 40 percent of world trade.
"Membership would position Canada to build trade ties with Asia's
rising economic powers, whose double-digit growth rates far outshine
those in the West," notes Dr. Dawson. "Canada is coming late to the
talks. The question now is whether Canada can join the action."
Membership in the TPP would facilitate a more solid foothold in emerging
East Asia for Canadian businesses, says Dr. Dawson. The potential is
for the TPP to expand and one day include all of APEC, even China; a
grouping representing 54 percent of global GDP. The TPP seeks to cover
a number of leading-edge issues affecting trans-Pacific business
chains, and would modernize Canada's business links with potential TPP
members with whom Canada already has trade agreements. Being at the
table now, rather than joining a done deal later, will allow Canada to
shape a beneficial deal that takes advantage of the early business
expansion that accompanies new trade agreements.
There is a stumbling block, however: Canada had the chance in 2005 to
join the nascent grouping, but chose not to, says Dr. Dawson. Now
prospective partners will judge Canada's suitability to join
negotiations already in progress. Among them, New Zealand is opposed to
Canada's attempts to maintain existing dairy supply management. And in
a 2010 review, US officials already declined to support Canada's case
"Canada has faced hurdles and hard choices - there is a domestic cost
for Canadian participation," notes Dr. Dawson.
This paper argues that positive support from the United States this time
could override objections by others, but Canada needs to play its cards
better. This means emphasizing that Canada and the US have interests in
common in these talks, and both would benefit from a strong agreement.
Specifically, Dr. Dawson recommends appealing to US broader strategic
interests in regional fora such as APEC, reminding Congressional
leaders of Canada-US alignment on key issues such as standards,
investment and labour, and emphasizing continued progress on Canada-US
For the report go to: http://www.cdhowe.org/pdf/Commentary_340.pdf
SOURCE C.D. Howe Institute
For further information:
Dr. Laura Dawson, President, Dawson Strategic and Member, International Economic Policy Advisory Council of the C.D. Howe Institute; 416-865-1904, email: firstname.lastname@example.org