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Canadians say 'We want in, too' on TPP talks

The regional free trading group now comprises 11 countries with Mexico joining earlier in the week.

Nevil Gibson
Wed, 20 Jun 2012

The Trans-Pacific Partnership regional free trade deal negotiations have received a further boost with Canada joining Mexico to push the grouping to 11 members.

Trade Minister Tim Groser, who is spokesman for the TPP, has welcomed the Canadians joining the negotiations.

“We believe that Canada’s participation in the negotiations will contribute to the objective of creating a 21st century agreement that will spur economic growth and development, promote innovation, benefit our consumers, and support the creation and retention of jobs, higher living standards and the reduction of poverty in our countries and the broader Asia-Pacific region,” Mr Groser says in his announcement.

Canada and Mexico are both members of the Nafta (North American Free Trade Agreement) while the TPP also comprises Asian and South American states that are already members of free trading blocs.

Mr Groser says, “The current TPP participants [Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Viet Nam] will now complete their domestic legal procedures, where applicable, after which Canada will formally join and participate in the negotiations.”

Canada is New Zealand’s 17th largest goods trading partner overall, with total trade worth $1.2 billion in the year to March 2012. 

Mr Groser says the inclusion of Canada in TPP will drive the overall relationship forward and is consistent with the goal of expanding markets for New Zealand’s exports and investments.

He says the next significant move to widen the TPP further  would be the participation of Japan, the world's third largest economy.

"We look forward to welcoming Japan to the negotiation once Japan is ready and we have established procedures for their entry that are acceptable to their government and to ours," he says.

TPP leaders and trade ministers will next meet on November 12 in Honolulu to assess progress with the negotiations.

Nevil Gibson
Wed, 20 Jun 2012
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Canadians say 'We want in, too' on TPP talks