CANADA - The Canadian Meat Council has suggested that US passage of the Trade Promotion Authority will open the door to a speedy completion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, Bruce Cochrane writes.
On Monday the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), a bill which clears the way for the US Congress to either accept or reject a US free trade agreement in its entirety was signed into law by president Barack Obama.
Ron Davidson, the director of international trade, government and media relations with the Canadian Meat Council, said that without the TPA, the other 11 countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations did not wish to place their ultimate concessions on the table, so with passage of the bill, it's possible to move forward quickly toward completion of the negotiations.
Ron Davidson-Canadian Meat Council:
When you have 12 countries participating everyone has their own sensitivities so it has been necessary to address those sensitivities.
This is a very ambitious trade agreement which started out with the intent of having true free trade among all 12 countries and the negotiations have proceeded along that track.
We don't expect that all tariffs may be eliminated by the end of the agreement but certainly we expect most of them will be.
For I think most of the Canadian economy it would be fair to say that we are urging the government to be fully committed, fully involved in these negotiations and to be a full partner at the end of the day.
Given, as I said earlier, the coverage of 40 per cent of the world economy already and that's before new countries may enter, it is most important that we be part of that deal, so we're looking forward to quick movement and quick conclusion of the deal among all 12 countries including Canada as a full partner.
Mr Davidson said, as we look forward to additional countries joining the TPP, the best place to be is in at the beginning because those who come in a year later will have to pay, so being there as a founding member is absolutely critical.
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