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
the U.S. established two conditions for Canadian entry. First, Canada
will not be able to reopen any chapters where agreement has already
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
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
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,
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
In prior agreements, Canada has adopted a position that favours greater
public disclosure. Where does the Canadian stand on TPP transparency?
TagsShareTuesday June 19, 2012