Donald Trump by Matt Johnson (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Donald Trump by Matt Johnson (CC BY-NC 2.0)


Trump Victory May Kill the TPP, But Reopening NAFTA Could Bring Back the Same IP Demands

Donald Trump’s stunning win of the U.S. Presidency on Tuesday night has sparked numerous articles speculating about the implications for various policies and issues. Given how little Trump said about digital policy, predictions about telecom or IP policy are little more than educated guesses. Trade policy was a major Trump issue, however, as his opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership and vow to renegotiate NAFTA was repeated at virtually every campaign stop.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed yesterday that the TPP would not be brought up for a vote this year, leaving Trump to decide on its future. Officials in other TPP countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and Malaysia have now acknowledged that the TPP is likely dead.

From a Canadian perspective, the end of the TPP should mean renewed efforts to negotiate bi-lateral trade agreements with Japan, India, and other leading Asian economies. While those agreements could result in more traditional trade agreements focused on tariff reduction, the U.S. trade relationship seems likely to be dominated by the possible renegotiation of NAFTA. No one is sure if Trump will really demand a NAFTA renegotiation, but Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. David McNaughton has already said that Canada is prepared to talk about revisiting aspects of the 1994 agreement.

If NAFTA is reopened, the U.S. will likely use the opportunity to reinsert the TPP intellectual property provisions into the agreement. NAFTA contains some IP provisions, but it is not nearly as detailed or prescriptive as today’s typical U.S. trade deal which place an enormous emphasis on exporting U.S. copyright rules, expanding patent protections, and increasing IP enforcement provisions. Consistent with those policy goals, the TPP contains IP rules that would require amendments to Canadian law, notably extension in the term of copyright, patent law changes, expanded border measure rules, criminalization of trade secret law, and trademark reforms.

The TPP may be stalled for now, but a re-opening of NAFTA would likely be used by Trump Administration to advance the same IP policies (which some in the U.S. argue do not go far enough). In other words, when it comes to IP and digital policies, a new NAFTA could become Canada’s own private TPP.

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  1. Pingback: Time Is Running Out for Obama to Pass the TPP Before Trump is President – Pinnacle of reliability

  2. the us had NEVER held to a treaty.
    NFTA got crunched on lumber — low BC taxes… which got quotaed off to quebec.

    we’ll ignore theselling of macbo and indiands getting the lumber lands.

    potatoes, fish and ANYTHING else that hurt the US.

    trump will kill ‘protection’ for neutrality in favor of commerce..
    which will let the facebook/fox teams of manufactured news come into 500 channel prominence.
    low-band+low brow.

    I DO expect to see the most insane IP protection possible done… us marshal arrested perople in baycomo for violating flordia laws.

    it’s the kludging that bothers me. manufactured consent and riots currently ongoing sateside.

    it’s still a hillory blood-bath.

    • True, the US cannot be trusted to uphold an agreement. But there is hope. Trump keeps all his promises. He also wants to bring back American manufacturing and that would make the emphasis on imaginary property rights moot because the country would change over to actually making something instead.

      Anyway, I seem to have hit my head on a nail. I’ll go have that looked at.

  3. We should establish a betting marketplace on whether or not Trump will actually kill the TPP.
    With a Republican congress – free traders historically – and big business pushing hard, I got $10 that says The Donald will see the light.
    On NAFTA, pushing on IP changes alone – something he never mentioned and something the average Trump supporter won’t connect with manufacturing jobs – will open that negotiation up to concerted criticism of the single aspect.
    Oh, while I am here, Softwood Lumber was never part of NAFTA.

  4. Pingback: A Obama se le acaba el tiempo para aprobar el TPP antes que Trump sea presidente | Vendetory Noticias

  5. Pingback: Bad news for Canada as Donald Trump announces withdrawal from TPP deal on day one of presidency – The Canadian Progressive