2nd Tier Status for Canada?: 5 Questions On Canada’s Entry to The Trans Pacific Partnership Talks

U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to announce today that Canada has been offered the chance to participate in the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. The offer will be described as big win for the Canadian government, yet reports indicate the conditions for entry may have been very steep. While much of the Canadian focus will be on supply management issues, the questions I would be asking include:

1.   According to Inside US Trade, the U.S. established two conditions for Canadian entry. First, Canada will not be able to reopen any chapters where agreement has already been reached among the current nine TPP partners. The problem with this is that Canada has agreed to this condition without actually gaining access to the current TPP text. Has Canada agreed to be bound by terms it has not even read? Can it disclose what it has effectively agreed to simply by accepting the offer to enter the negotiations?

2.   Inside US Trade also reports that Canada has second tier status in the negotiations as the U.S. has stipulated that Canada would not have “veto authority” over any chapter. This means that should the other nine countries agree on terms, Canada would be required to accept them. Has Canada agreed to this condition? How will it deal with the prospect that the other nine countries agree to terms that are disadvantageous to Canada?

3.    Canada launched a consultation on joining the TPP earlier this year (my submission is here). Where are the results of that consultation? Did Canadians express support for entering the negotiations? Why has the government not released the results?

4.    Last night, the House of Commons passed Bill C-11, the copyright reform bill. Yet leaked versions of the TPP intellectual property chapter suggest that Canada would be required to re-write much of the bill due to the TPP. For example, the leaked TPP draft requires an extension of the term of copyright, new statutory damages provisions that would undo the C-11 approach, even tougher digital lock rules than those found in the bill, and new Internet provider liability provisions. Having just passed legislation it claims strikes the right balance, is the government already prepared to go back to the drawing board on copyright based on new U.S. demands?

5.   The TPP has faced sharp criticism for its lack of transparency. In prior agreements, Canada has adopted a position that favours greater public disclosure. Where does the Canadian stand on TPP transparency?

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  1. ..
    “chapter suggest that Canada would be required to re-write much of the bill due to the TPP.”

    This was exactly CONS plan tell us bill C-11 is balanced and no notice and take down, no website blocking blah blah, this was all a ploy for bigger plans they had like this TPP and now looks like Bill C-11 will be changed and worse then ever.

  2. I’m breaking the law right now. I saw the avengers film in the theater a few weeks ago, and I still remember the film. The movie, being digital content is subject to digital locks. But the “unlocked copy” of it in my head effectively bypasses those measures. It is not a digital copy, to be sure, but c11 does not make a distinction, nor does it contain any exemptions for private use. With the passing of this bill, EVERY person in Canada who has not ostracized himself away from new media has been instantaneously transformed into a lawbreaker that the powers that be can arbitrarily decide to punish. If this sounds absurd to supporters of this new law, I tell you now that you were waned there would be unintended consequences to this bill. Many were even explicitly spelled out. You refused to listen

  3. Bill C-11 Royal Assent
    People keep saying C-11 is passed and Guiest keeps telling us it’s at it’s final stages blah blah but IC it has to go through a few more steps before even reaching Royal Assent and just recently telling us it has to go through order in council before Royal Assent and coming into law. They do break on the 29th so hopefully we could have a summer with no worries.

    Introduction: The process begins when a bill is introduced.

  4. TPP
    You know…Harper’s head is so far up Obama’s ass that he’s willing to completely sell out Canada to forward his completely bazaar and unsupported agenda. The TPP is just one more step to becoming American. It makes sense since we’re one of the most resource-rich countries in the world. If they can completely control us with US designed legislation…we might as well trade in our maple leaves for stars and stripes.

  5. >>>>
    I like how the news doesn’t tell us all the details and make it sound like TPP is going to be great for Canada, maybe it is I don’t know full details but all I know is the IP aspect of it and how we’re going to have a Canadian SOPA.

  6. Because the fair dealing provisions in C-11 contain an exception that makes them not apply to works that are subject to digital locks, any so-called private copying privileges that Canadians have formerly enjoyed are rendered all but completely moot.

    Owing to the fact that the blank media levy is intended to compensate artists for private copying, it seems to me that this is now taxing people for an activity that they don’t have any real existing right to legitimately practice, and the levy has become wholly illegal (because you can’t lawfully tax people for something that they can’t even legally do in the first place).

    The conservatives want the levy scrapped, and with their majority government, I’m sure they could pull it off, but how long will we have to wait for them to revoke this now illegal tax?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Well we already adopted the US’s anti pedophile bill so we probably gonna take anything else they have

  8. We’re fucked
    Michael Geist ‏@mgeist

    ..we’re not going to try to undo what’s been done” = Canada caved to US conditions on ‪#TPP‬ entry. (5:10)

  9. Canada-wide protests?
    Any chance we’re going to see Canada-wide protests against ACTA, TPP C30,etc.? It’s about time we are going to hit the streets like our brethern in Europe. Because they aren’t anywhere near the Pacific, the US and its vassal states feel safe about pushing through TPP. Let’s prove them wrong. From St Johns NL to Vancouver BC.

  10. pat donovan says:

    any given free trade agreement means increased imports. (not exports)

    dutch-d economy anyone? (manufacturing migration, etc)

    also in other agreements.. any ‘web’ orphan work in ANY country is automatically orphaned in them all. (guess who has full time strippers sterilizing the web)

    watch for an INSANE increase in the difficulty of getting a patent soon. (Not only trolled-under new apps, china piracy and a 300.00 fee for new and efficient patent methods.

    I’m talking preemptive lawsuits on labs/authors doing new/research work.


  11. Where is Reisman when we need him?
    I doubt these rubes are capable of negotiating a major trade deal. In the NAFTA process, Canada had a smart bulldog in Simon Reisman (RIP) – there is no equivalent among the Tories.

  12. I had a feelling….
    … that bill C-30 and the other laws that Toews was trying to push so hard was to distract us from something… and it looks like it was from this TPP deal. It doesn’t matter what happens to bull C-30 or other ones if this TPP goes through and trumps all recent laws that passed.

    Man, I’m getting really tired that our government is fighting it’s own people instead of working with and for us. Honestly, our democracy seems to be turning into a dictatorship.

  13. > Man, I’m getting really tired that our government is fighting it’s own people instead of working with and for us. Honestly, our democracy seems to be turning into a dictatorship.

    ME TOO. Why does TOEWS want to listen in to everything? He should go to prison. With transparent walls, 24/7 webcam, and tapped phones and internet. That would be entertainment!

    Who elected this clown? I would fully support a vote of no confidence in our current “Majority” government, and a restructuring of the political system to avoid ANY party EVER having a majority this complete again. The opposition should have SOME power to oppose things that the PEOPLE oppose. This system is broken!

  14. It’s a lost war
    I’ve said it before and I will say it again. It’s a losing battle to try to fight all of this IP-protectionism stuff. The Industry and the government officials (of various countries) it has in it’s pocket have a never ending budget of time and money to keep pushing this shit at us over and over again. They won’t stop trying until we are too worn down to keep fighting it.

    We all have real jobs and responsibilities that we have to attend to 8+ hours a day to get our bills paid and then we have to continue to fight this in the hours that are left. On the other side, these asshats spend their 8 hours a day getting their bills paid by fighting this fight. Anyone can clearly see the imbalance here that will eventually lead to their victory.

  15. good thing for Harpers new super jails
    looks like downloaders will fill the new super jails creating the same issues in Canada as they have in the U.S.with thers filled with pot smokers!
    t5hank you Mr. Harper!

  16. Does it matter?
    >>”Where does the Canadian stand on TPP transparency?”

    Does it matter. It isn’t like we have any say.

    Mulroney had a far stronger negotiating team than Harper does. But non of them are being used. On top of that TPP is the wrong treaty for Canada. Countries that don’t have a trade agreement with the US are willing to give up almost any thing to get access. We did. But Canada already has access so there is really little for us to gain and so, so much to lose. I guarantee software patents are coming to Canada and the leaks tell us generic drugs are going to be a thing of the past as well.

  17. bills paid
    Had to laugh at the commenter who said “We all have real jobs and responsibilities that we have to attend to 8+ hours a day to get our bills paid”. Generally in the self-rightous outcries of people demanding “freedom” to fileshare, it is forgotten that the people who create the content that is copied have bills to pay too. Those promoting lax copyright law like to portray copyright as some vast conspiracy of giant media corporations who are rolling in money, and conveniently forget the countless writers, musicians, actors, editors, and everyone else who are being ripped off and denied the ability to “pay their bills.”