The move, announced by New Zealand Minister of Trade Tim Groser today and following the news that Mexico was to join the negotiations earlier this week, “demonstrates how dynamic this consultation process is,” the Minister says.
“Our vision for the TPP has always been to create a high-quality and comprehensive trade agreement which over time will act as a platform for wider Asia-Pacific trade liberalisation and economic integration.”
It shows that progress is being made in building an open and inclusive agreement, says the NZUS Council.
“Canada’s decision to join the TPP negotiations following Mexico’s announcement is further proof that TPP is open to new members who believe they can meet the high standards set by the agreement,” says NZUS Council executive director Stephen Jacobi.
“Canada is a major global economy and a long-standing friend of New Zealand. A successful outcome to the TPP negotiations will allow the economic relationship between New Zealand and Canada to reach a new level”.
New Zealand exports to Canada in 2011 were worth $597.4 million and it was our 19th largest export market. The top exports were sheep meat, beef and wine.
Jacobi foresees tough negotiations ahead on market access for agricultural products given that Canada maintains tight restrictions on supply managed industries including dairy and poultry.
“The NZUS Council’s submission to the New Zealand Government last year made clear that we considered Canada’s supply management policies incompatible with the vision of TPP as a comprehensive, high quality and ambitious agreement. These differences will now need to be resolved at the negotiating table”.
Jacobi noted that Japan was continuing to follow the TPP process closely.
“We look forward to Japan joining the negotiations once the Japanese Government is confident it can meet the high ambition of TPP and consultations are complete,” said Mr Jacobi.
Like the process for Mexico, the next step with regard to Canada joining the negotiations would be for the nine current TPP participants to complete any applicable domestic legal procedures. Following this, Canada would formally join the negotiations as a new participant.