Harper Announces Successful Conclusion Of Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations

October 5, 2015

BACKGROUNDER

THE PLAN

Today, 28 years after Canada concluded our first-ever free-trade agreement with the United States, Canada and 11 other founding nations concluded the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.  The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a 12-nation market of nearly 800 million customers and is the largest free-trade agreement in history.

A re-elected Conservative Government will ratify and implement this historic agreement. As with all trade agreements, TPP will be subject to full Parliamentary review and approval before it is passed and brought into force.

Concluding the Trans Pacific Partnership

  • The TPP is a 12-nation market of almost 800 million consumers with GDP of $28 trillion – over 14 times the size of Canada’s economy.
  • The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement will protect and create Canadian jobs, and grow every sector of our economy by giving Canadian businesses access to some of the most dynamic markets in the world.
  • Canada will now be the only G7 nation with free trade access to all of the US and Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific continents – that’s over 60% of the world’s economy.
  • The TPP gives us access to new markets where we don’t currently have free-trade agreements – like Japan, the world’s 3rd largest economy – and it strengthens our partnership with our NAFTA partners.
  • The TPP will help us and our allies set the rules for trade in Asia-Pacific region.
  • Exporters and workers in every sector and region of Canada will benefit from the preferential access the TPP will create – lobster and salmon fishing, the wine industry, mining, manufacturing, financial services, forestry and agriculture.

Protecting and Promoting Canadian Auto Sector Jobs

  • The auto industry will also benefit, which will create the opportunity for more Canadian cars and car parts to be exported.
  • At present, 85% of Canada’s auto sector products are exported. TPP gives Canada access to new markets for Canadian autos and parts, with very strong safeguards against trade barriers that countries like Japan have used in the past.

Protecting and Promoting Canadian Farmers

  • Every sector of Canada’s agriculture and agri-food industry will benefit.
  • The TPP has fully protected the three pillars of Canada’s supply management system, which will remain intact.
  • We have limited access to just 3.25% of our domestic dairy market.
  • And export opportunities have been created for Canadian dairy, poultry and egg producers, across the TPP region.
  • A new, comprehensive set of programs will be provided to benefit and support supply-managed producers and processors throughout the implementation of the TPP and our agreement with the EU. Every farmer in each supply-managed sector will be kept financially whole as these agreements are implemented, as will their local economies.

THE ISSUE

Our Conservative Free-Trade Record of Success

Canada has always been a trading nation.  Our Conservative Government knows that trade creates jobs and fuels the economy. More than one in five Canadian jobs is linked directly to exports. Without international trade, there would be 3.3 million fewer jobs.

That’s why our Conservative Government has worked tirelessly to open new markets for Canadian goods and services, and to equip Canadian businesses to compete internationally.

When our Conservative government came to power, Canada had free-trade agreements with five countries. With TPP, we now have reached agreements with 51 countries!  Even before launching and concluding this historic TPP agreement, under Prime Minister Harper’s leadership, Canada had concluded free-trade agreements with 39 additional countries:

  • We launched and concluded the Canada – European Union Free Trade Agreement. This agreement could increase Canada’s income by $12 billion annually, equal to increasing the average Canadian family’s annual income by $1,000.
  • We launched, concluded, and implemented the Canada – Korea Free Trade Agreement, which is expected to create thousands of new Canadian jobs, grow Canada’s GDP by $1.7 billion and increase our bilateral exports by 32%.
  • We launched and concluded the Canada – Ukraine Free Trade Agreement.
  • We launched, concluded, and implemented agreements with Honduras, Panama, Jordan, Colombia, and Peru.
  • We concluded and implemented an agreement with the European Free Trade Association, and modernized existing agreements with Israel and Chile.
  • We have also improved the foreign investment climate for Canadian companies to expand globally by concluding, signing or bringing into force 24 foreign investment promotion and protection agreements (FIPAs).

Once fully implemented, these agreements together with the TPP will give Canada preferred access to more than 60% of the global marketplace and benefit every sector of the Canadian economy.

And we are helping Canadian businesses take advantage of new export opportunities being created as a result:

  • We launched the Global Markets Action Plan in 2013 which targets markets that matter most to Canadian businesses and ensures that Canada’s key export interests are promoted in those markets.
  • In 2014, we launched the ‘Go Global’ initiative, providing $50 million over five years to help hundreds of small and medium Canadian businesses to expand into global markets and reach their full export potential. Small and medium enterprises represent 99% of Canadian businesses and more than 40,000 are exporting.
  • We are also expanding our Trade Commissioner networks, including to key markets such as China and India where we have expanded to 23 trade offices with 150 trade commissioners in those two countries alone.
  • There are now more than 160 trade offices located around the world to help provide export advice and guidance to entrepreneurs, including more than 25 trade commissioners who are embedded in industry associations in Canada to better understand their export needs.

But our Conservative Government also doesn’t hesitate to stand up for Canadian businesses, recognizing that the success of our international trade agenda hinges on creating jobs and business opportunities for Canadians:

  • We have defended Canadian businesses when other countries have discriminated against our exports including forestry, seal, and agricultural products. Thanks to the cooperative efforts of our Conservative government and domestic industry, the World Trade Organization has repeatedly found that the United States has violated its trade obligations to Canada through its discriminatory treatment of our beef and pork exports.
  • While welcoming foreign investment, we have also introduced new rules under the Investment Canada Act to ensure that major foreign transactions associated with Canadian companies are of net benefit to Canada. We created a national security review process in 2009 and introduced new rules to limit investment by foreign state-owned enterprises in 2012.
  • Our Conservative Government is the first in Canadian history to invoke the Investment Canada Act to reject a foreign takeover bid that was not in Canada’s best interests. Several additional foreign takeovers have since been rejected by our Government.

THE CHOICE

The emphasis that our Conservative government has placed on growing our international trade agenda is benefiting every Canadian region and sector. Canadians know that opening up new markets for Canadian exports creates new jobs for Canadian workers, and encourages economic growth for our long-term prosperity.

The NDP is showing its true colours by vowing to rip up the TPP and the Canadian jobs it would protect and create. The NDP is ideologically opposed to free trade and has been against virtually every free-trade deal every completed by Canada, from NAFTA to today.

The Liberals claim to support free-trade, and are happy to let our Conservative government do the hard work of finalizing this deal.  But despite decades in power, the Liberals have almost no record on free-trade. Jean Chretien is the only non-Conservative ever to conclude any free-trade agreements for Canada. Prime Minister Harper’s Government has since improved half of the agreements concluded by Chretien in order to bring them up to 21st century standards.

With Justin Trudeau’s fuzzy plan to grow the economy “from the heart outwards”, he just isn’t equipped to manage tough trade negotiations that are in the best interests of Canadians. Much work remains to ratify and implement the TPP agreement and only a Conservative government has the experience to do so effectively.

The choice is clear. Beginning with Canada’s first free-trade agreement with the United States that was concluded under Brian Mulroney 28 years ago, Conservative governments in Canada have created 99% of Canada’s free-trade access in the world. Only Conservatives have a solid track record and the experience needed to continue to open new markets for Canadian goods and services, in order to create new, well-paying jobs, grow Canada’s economy, and secure our long-term prosperity.

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