TPP Signing, February 4th, 2016 by US Embassy (CC BY-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/DCM31U

TPP Signing, February 4th, 2016 by US Embassy (CC BY-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/DCM31U

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Canadian Government Consults on Expanding Pacific Trade Treaty to UK, Taiwan, South Korea, and Thailand

The Canadian government has launched a public consultation on expanding the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP, formerly TPP) to other countries, specifically citing the UK, Taiwan, South Korea, and Thailand. The consultation could raise significant concerns as the UK would be the first non-Pacific country in the agreement and Taiwan could spark a response from China. Moreover, opening the agreement to new countries must likely factor in the possibility that the U.S. might want to re-enter the agreement if there is a change in administration in 2020.

The government is seeking feedback on market access opportunities, but expanding the agreement will raise questions about increased access to the Canadian market for those new countries. Further, should the U.S. indicate an interest in returning, a big question will be whether it would want the intellectual property provisions that were suspended when it left the agreement re-started. These include copyright term extension requirements, protection for biologics, and digital lock rules. Some of these provisions were included in the USMCA, but the opposition to them among many TPP countries became obvious with the agreement to suspend them in the effort to conclude the agreement. The consultation is open until August 25, 2019.

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