Perspectives — October 16–18, 2018

The Senate will finally study Bill C-79, An Act to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, otherwise referred to as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation Act (CPTPP).
The CPTPP succeeds the original TPP agreement signed by the previous Conservative government. It represents a tremendous opportunity to position Canada to enter into a free trade relationship with 11 key economies in the Asia-Pacific region.
CPTPP partners have a collective population of 495 million people, with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of Can $13.5 trillion, or 13.5% of global GDP.
The ratification of the CPTPP is predicted to grow Canada’s economy by approximately $4.2 billion through preferential access to these markets. The expected gains will benefit a wide range of sectors including financial services, fish and seafood, forestry, agriculture and agri-food, as well as metals and minerals.
The first six countries to ratify will be instrumental in determining the pace at which tariffs are reduced for those who ratify later. 
If Canada is not in this first mover class of six, our competitors will benefit from tariff reductions while Canadian companies face higher barriers. Ratifying now means that Canadian companies will have a greater opportunity to become suppliers of choice in these important markets.

The Senate is now tasked with studying Bill C-79 under very strict time constraints, due to the government’s delay in moving it forward.