CPTPP: Senate caves - deal adopted!

CPTPP: Senate caves - deal adopted!

Postby Oscar » Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:00 pm

Senate adopts Asia-Pacific trade deal as Canada becomes fifth nation to adopt CPTPP

[ https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/tasker ... -1.4878128 ]

Agreement comes into force 60 days after six of 11 signatories have ratified deal

John Paul Tasker · CBC News · Posted: Oct 25, 2018 2:06 PM ET | Last Updated: 34 minutes ago

(NOTE: 4000 people wrote letters against this)

Thirteen World Trade Organization members are meeting in Ottawa to discuss how to fix the increasingly troubled global trading system. 0:00

Legislation to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade deal has cleared the Senate after just a week of study.

The bill is slated to receive royal assent later today, at which point Canada will be in the final stages of adopting an agreement that covers a bloc that does more than $425 billion in trade each year.

While Canada already has signed the CPTPP, each country party to the deal must also pass enabling legislation to make changes to tariffs rates and other relevant legislation that might be affected by dropping most barriers to trade.

Even after this Senate vote, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet will have to make some regulatory tweaks, through orders in council, before formally ratifying the trade deal.

The agreement comes into force 60 days after six of the 11 signatories have ratified it through legislation.

Canada now joins four other countries that have formally done so: New Zealand, Mexico, Japan and Singapore. Two other countries — Vietnam and Australia — are in the advanced stages of debate.

International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr will speak to the media at 4:45 p.m. ET to discuss the CPTPP. CBCNews.ca will carry his remarks live.

Observers have said being among the first six countries to adopt the deal could be economically significant for Canada as it would give it "first-mover advantage," allowing it to establish itself in important supply chains early on.

A concrete example of this first-mover advantage can be found in Canadian beef and pork exports to Japan.

If Canada is part of the agreement when it first comes into force, beef and pork exporters will have the first crack at using their preferential market access to displace U.S. exports — which will be more expensive because they'll face a higher tariff.

(U.S. President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the TPP, brokered by President Barack Obama, shortly after he was elected. The other TPP countries subsequently pressed ahead without him, reaching an agreement-in-principle on a moderately revised deal earlier this year.)

Fast work

Thus, farm interests and other trade boosters have been urging the Senate to quickly pass the implementation bill, C-79, and forego extensive committee study as the agreement already has been the subject of much consultation and parliamentary work.

Members of the Senate's foreign affairs and international trade committee largely obliged, completing their study — including a clause-by-clause review of the bill — in just three sittings over the course of a single week. The committee heard from labour, business interests and agri-food lobby groups. The committee's chair, Conservative Saskatchewan Sen. Raynell Andreychuk, said committee members were "efficient with their time."

The bill passed a third reading vote in the chamber Thursday afternoon.

Despite the lobbying efforts, at least one group had been demanding the Senate slow down its review: the Council of Canadians, an organization that has raised red flags about trade agreements.

The council urged the Senate to serve as a bulwark against a deal that passed the Commons quickly, advice the upper house clearly did not heed.

'Reckless' ratification

"The ratification process of the CPTPP has been reckless," Maude Barlow, the honorary chairperson of the Council of Canadians, said in a statement to CBC News Thursday.

"The Trudeau government decided a long time ago to promote the CPTPP as a fait accompli. It ignored the concerns of the large majority of those who participated in the consultations and who expressed many misgivings about the deal, particularly the investor state provisions that will give more corporations the right to challenge Canadian regulations and standards.

"The Senate foreign relations committee similarly ignored the advice of so many Canadians and rubber-stamped the deal with little debate or information sharing. This is a shame because there are serious flaws in this agreement about which many elected leaders know very little."

The benefits of the CPTPP are said to be substantial, as it will give Canadian companies more tariff-free access to the world's largest trading bloc, representing some 495 million consumers. The deal will eliminate up to 95 per cent of tariff lines among the parties.

The chief economist at Global Affairs Canada has said the CPTPP will generate long-term economic gains for Canada in excess of $4.2 billion.

"Canada must diversify it's trading relationships," said Brian Kingston, the director of international and fiscal issues at the Business Council of Canada, noting more than 76 per cent of Canada's exports are still destined for the U.S.

"With growing protectionism in the U.S., the need to diversify has never been clearer. Asia is the growth engine of the global economy and Canada must be positioned to take advantage of it. We think the tariff reductions in the CPTPP will significantly boost our exports."

Not everyone is convinced. Businesses in some sectors — including auto parts manufacturing and dairy farming — worry that opening up Canada to more imports from the Asia-Pacific region could challenge the competitiveness of domestic industries.

- - - - -

About the Author - John Paul Tasker, Parliamentary Bureau - John Paul (J.P.) Tasker is a reporter in the CBC's Parliamentary bureau in Ottawa. He can be reached at john.tasker@cbc.ca.

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Re: CPTPP: Senate caves - deal adopted!

Postby Oscar » Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:25 am

CPTPP rushed through parliamentary readings – Senate last hope to require needed independent review

[ https://canadians.org/media/cptpp-rushe ... ndependent ]

October 23, 2018 Media Release (NUMEROUS LINKS in Original posting)

Ottawa – The controversial Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) has been rushed through three Parliamentary readings in just two days, leaving Canada’s Senate as the only possible hope for a full and proper review of the deal and its impacts on Canadians. The Council of Canadians is now urging the Senate to require this independent review.

Bill C-79, the Bill to implement the CPTPP, passed final reading on October 15 in the House of Commons, and then went through two readings in the Senate on October 15 and 16. This rapid approval process came after the Bill was tabled in the House of Commons, where the Liberal government limited debate. The Bill is now before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee and could go to third reading any day now.

The Council of Canadians and its supporters across the country are asking the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee to send the CPTPP to the Parliamentary Budget Officer for independent analysis of its full impacts for Canadians. To date, this review has never been completed.

“So far, the ratification process of the CPTPP has been reckless,” said Maude Barlow, Honorary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians, “In the past, the Senate has expressed concerns about how the government approves trade deals and what kind of analysis it does. It is time for the ‘house of sober second thought’ to ask the Parliamentary Budget Officer to complete this analysis and to demand a robust debate.”

Council of Canadians Trade campaigner, Sujata Dey, bemoaned how empty consultations on the TPP have been. “While many people have been distracted with the ongoing saga around renegotiating NAFTA, the CPTPP, one of the biggest trade agreements Canada has ever been a part of, is being fast-tracked. The Trudeau government pledged to consult and do things differently from the Harper government on trade agreements, but that promise appears to be hollow. The government’s own consultations show than more than 95 per cent of people oppose the CPTPP. It is clearly undemocratic to ram it through Parliament especially without knowing how it will impact people, or what the costs will be for Canadians.” -30-

For more information contact:

Jan Malek, Communications Dept.
The Council of Canadians
Office: (613) 233-4487, ext. 231
E-mail: jmalek@canadians.org
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