The Canadian government and other TPP partners released the text of most of the CPTPP yesterday. The release contained few surprises as the TPP remains intact and a new annex identifies the suspended provisions. The list of suspended provisions was revealed several months ago and is particularly notable for the suspension of IP provisions such as copyright term extension, patent term adjustment, technological protection measures, biologics protection, and Internet safe harbour rules.
While the release of some of the CPTPP is a welcome development, it should be noted that the new side letters – including those involving Canadian cultural safeguards – were not released and are not expected to be made public until after signing. Given the public frustration with the lack of TPP transparency throughout the negotiations, the failure to provide a comprehensive release ensures continued uncertainty akin to signing a contract without reading the fine print.
The Canadian government also released an updated report on the economic impact of the CPTPP. The new report increases the estimated benefits of the deal without the U.S., yet it still excludes the economic impact of many important aspects of the deal, including the IP and digital trade chapters. The digital trade chapter remains problematic as it retains provisions crafted to meet U.S. standards on issues such as privacy and net neutrality. It also limits Canadian policy flexibility on data localization and data transfers.
The CPTPP features a new entry into force provision, which is now 60 days after at least six or 50% of the TPP have completed their applicable legal procedures. The agreement itself is expected to be signed in Chile next month.