Canada Opposed To U.S. Positions On Dozens of Trans Pacific Partnership Issues

Today’s leak of country-by-country positions  on the Trans Pacific Partnership reveals the strong isolation of the U.S. on many intellectual property issues and the wide ranging Canadian opposition to many U.S. proposals. With International Trade Minister Ed Fast heading to Singapore for a ministerial round of negotiations, Canada is apparently far apart from the U.S. on many key issues.  The areas of disagreement run throughout the IP chapter and include positions on copyright term, digital locks, criminalization of copyright, parallel imports, patents, trademark scope, pharmaceutical protection, and geographical indications. Moreover, there is a notable disagreement on a cultural exception, which Canada wants but the U.S. does not.

A look at the areas of disagreement from the Huffington Post leak:

Issues of Disagreement
Market Access
  • state-owned commercial importing enterprises
  • state-owned exporting agricultural enterprises
  • annex on cheese
  • annex on biotechnology
Rules of Origin
  • certification without backing documents
  • De Minimis of US$200 (all TPP countries oppose the US on this)
Technical Barriers to Trade
  • Incorporation of WTO TBT agreement
Government Procurement
  • Market access for SMEs
  • Central Reserve Bank
  • Land appropriation annex
  • Privacy obligations (US reserves position)
  • MEAs: cooperative focus and not subject to dispute settlement
  • Dispute settlement for chapter
  • Biodiversity (elimination of para 3, 4, 5)
  • Climate change (shorten the article)
  • Dispute settlement
  • Medicines annex
  • Tobacco exception (Canada reserves)
  • Cultural exception
  • Extension of obligations: weaker formulation
  • US proposal for entry into force
Intellectual Property
  • Patentability criteria
  • Supplementary protection (all TPP countries oppose US)
  • Extend protection to new uses
  • Pharmaceutical linkage
  • Pharmaceutical data protection
  • Copyright Technological protection measures
  • Copyright term (all TPP countries oppose US)
  • Copyright parallel importation (all TPP countries oppose US)
  • Copyright ISPs (US and Australia isolated)
  • Criminal offences for unintentional copyright and trademark infringement (all TPP countries oppose US)
  • Camcording
  • Ratification of other IP treaties
  • National treatment (maintain TRIPS exclusions)
  • Trademarks inclusion of scent marks
  • Geographical indications – system for nullification
  • Geographical indications – no prohibition on third party use of translated GI
  • Geographical indications – existence of GI not reason to reject trademark registration


  1. Angry Canerdian says:

    Criminal offense for UNINTENTIONAL copyright infringement?
    This is the scariest thing in the whole list. Every single person commits so-called “unintentional copyright infringement” several times daily. So now everyone is a criminal, just waiting to have an offense hung over their head for blackmail, imprisonment or worse when they become “inconvenient” for the powers in control.

    Even criminal liability for deliberate infringement would be waaaaay overkill. But that’s really the point, I guess. The US has been puppeteered by its corporate masters for a while now and this reveals just how profound their control really is.

  2. @Angry Canerdian
    If you can’t control the masses with Law, control them with FEAR. Look how long the RIAA have instilled the fear of prosecution for downloading music in Canada, when in fact we have been allowed to download music for personal use since 1999. One can download legally, just not upload.