Thanks very much.
I am very happy to be here with you again today. I'm Kirsten Hillman, acting assistant deputy minister, Trade Agreements and Negotiations Branch at Global Affairs Canada. I am Canada's chief negotiator for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. I am here today to provide you with a technical briefing on the TPP Agreement and to answer your questions.
With me from Global Affairs Canada are Dany Carrière, director of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Division and deputy chief negotiator for the TPP; Alison O'Leary, director, Tariff and Goods Market Access Division; Loris Mirella, lead negotiator, Intellectual Property for the TPP. I also have with me several other experts. So if you have very technical questions, I hope we will be well-equipped to answer them.
My presentation this morning will include a brief history of the TPP, information on how the TPP Agreement is structured, and finally I will talk about the next steps for Canada, including the consultation process that is already underway. I will begin with the background.
The TPP builds on the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement, also known as the P4, between Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore, which entered into force in 2006. Beginning in January 2008, additional countries joined in the discussion. In March 2010, a new round of negotiations was launched when Australia, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States joined the partnership and renamed it the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.
Later that year, the TPP membership grew to nine countries with the participation of Malaysia. Canada, along with Mexico, joined the negotiations on October 8, 2012, in time to participate in the 15th round of negotiations. And finally, Japan joined in July 2013.
After three TPP leaders' meetings, 10 meetings with TPP ministers and more than 20 negotiating meetings since Canada joined, the TPP negotiations concluded on October 5, 2015, in Atlanta. The official signing ceremony of the TPP Agreement took place on February 4 this year, a few weeks ago, in Auckland, New Zealand.
The TPP Agreement covers virtually all aspects of trade among TPP parties. It addresses a range of issues with the goal of facilitating trade within the region. The 12 TPP countries represent 800 million people, with a combined GDP of over CAN$38.5 trillion, close to 40% of global GDP. It includes a diverse set of countries with differing levels of development.
Before I turn to the structure of the TPP agreement, let me take a moment to speak to the department's work on the economic impact analysis of the agreement.
We have a preliminary assessment of the impact of the TPP tariff reductions and market openings for trade in goods and services. However, we're dealing here with over 100,000 tariff lines and services obligations among 12 parties. So, finalizing this analysis takes some timing, and we are continuing to work on that.
We're also reviewing the economic analysis of academics and think tanks, and other organizations out there that are looking at the TPP.
Let me now briefly turn to the agreement and provide an overview of the structure of the agreement and the content. The TPP has 30 chapters, and along with its market access schedules, comprises over 6,000 pages. The agreement addresses both tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade in relation to goods. The foundation of all of our trade agreements is market access for goods, and the TPP follows Canada's traditional approach in this regard.
It has a national treatment and market access chapter that includes both standard and new provisions relative to Canada's previous FTAs. Standard provisions include tariff reductions, non-discrimination obligations, and the creation of a committee to discuss issues that arise as a means to solve problems and avoid disputes. The chapter also includes new provisions. For example, the TPP allows producers to seek preferential treatment for remanufactured goods. Remanufacturing is an industrial process that restores end-of-life goods to their original working condition.
There's a chapter on rules of origin and origin procedures that serves to determine when a good is eligible to be considered a TPP good and therefore benefit from the tariff treatment under the agreement. This chapter aims to reflect Canadian production realities, and includes procedures for making claims for preferential treatment that are clear, simple, and similar to those included in Canada's other agreements.
Also important to trade in goods are the chapters on customs administration and trade facilitation that will automate and streamline customs procedures by TPP customs authorities. The rules on sanitary and phytosanitary measures require TPP countries to regulate based on scientific principles, and the chapter on technical barriers to trade requires parties to create a fair and predictable regulatory system that does not create discriminatory barriers to trade. Both of these chapters build on the obligations that all TPP parties have at the World Trade Organization.
Now beyond goods, trade agreements, including the TPP, set out rules in relation to trade in services and investment. In the TPP, these include a cross-border trade in services chapter that opens markets in TPP countries in sectors such as professional services, environmental services, construction services, and research and development.
There's a financial services chapter that deals with banking and insurance services, and includes protections against expropriations and breaches of minimum standard of treatment. There's an investment chapter that sets out investment rules, including a requirement that Canadian investors be treated fairly, equitably, and in a non-discriminatory manner. It also preserves Canada's ability to review foreign investments pursuant to the Investment Canada Act. The chapter also includes an investor–state dispute settlement mechanism for investment disputes.
The temporary entry for business person chapter aims to facilitate the movement of specific high-skilled professional business people among TPP markets that have agreed to those same commitments towards Canada.
The electronic commerce chapter includes rules that are aimed at addressing impediments faced by consumers and businesses that trade in the electronic environment, such as the protection of personal information and consumers when they're trading online. This chapter reflects Canada's domestic regime.
There's also a telecommunications chapter, which includes obligations that are intended to ensure that service suppliers in the telecommunications sector are treated in a fair and objective manner when providing telecommunications services to another TPP country.
The TPP also includes rules on intellectual property, government procurement, competition, state-owned enterprises, labour, environment, and transparency and anti-corruption.
As with all of Canada's trade agreements, the TPP includes a dispute settlement mechanism that sets out a framework for resolving disputes.
The intellectual property chapter is the longest chapter in the TPP, and is divided into sections on co-operation, copyright, enforcement, geographical indications, industrial designs, patents, pharmaceutical patents, and agricultural chemicals. The chapter builds on existing trade agreements, namely the Paris Convention, and the World Trade Organization Doha Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.
The TPP also includes an expanded set of rules to ensure fair terms of competition when state-owned enterprises compete commercially with private companies. The labour chapter includes commitments to ensure that national laws and policies provide protection for fundamental principles and rights at work, including freedom of association, collective bargaining, and the elimination of child labour and forced labour. The environment chapter includes provisions to address global environmental challenges. The labour and environment chapters in the TPP are subject to enforcement using the dispute settlement mechanism of the agreement, a first for Canada.
In terms of next steps, according to the terms of the TPP Agreement, countries have two years to complete their domestic ratification process. For Canada, the government is committed to consulting with Canadians and to a full and open public debate in Parliament on the merits of the TPP.
Since November 4, the Government of Canada has held over 200 interactions with nearly 190 different domestic stakeholders—provinces and territories, industry, civil society, think thanks, academics. Global Affairs Canada has also received over 1,000 letters and emails through this consultation process since November 5.
Last month, Minister Freeland and Parliamentary Secretary Lametti visited seven cities across Canada—Edmonton, Vancouver, Montreal, Halifax, Regina, Winnipeg and Quebec City—and met with nearly 100 stakeholders to hear views on the outcomes of the agreement. They met with provincial representatives, women entrepreneurs, innovation firms, farmers, think thanks, representatives from Canada's forestry and wood products sector, unions and auto workers, port authorities, academics, and, of course, business leaders.
Different views have been expressed to date. Almost all stakeholders recognized the importance of signing the agreement, but signing is only a first step. It is not ratification—only ratification brings the agreement into force for Canada.
With regard to ratification, there are diverse views. Some stakeholders are pressing for ratification as soon as possible, while others say that Canada needs to walk away from the agreement. To be more specific, export-oriented Canadian business and industry associations support the agreement; they view the TPP as an opportunity to gain and increase access to priority markets; they also see the TPP as facilitating trade through, for example, the new rules on electronic commerce, state-owned enterprises, investment and intellectual property.
Canada's business sector is diverse however, and criticisms have arisen from Canada's auto sector. Diverse views have also been expressed regarding whether the TPP will have a positive or negative effect on innovation in Canada. These differences speak to the importance of ongoing consultation.
Civil society organizations and unions have raised concerns over the implications of the agreement for Canadian jobs and have raised concerns about the scope and application of the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism and the cost of pharmaceuticals.
Through these consultations, we have learned that Canadians still have a great number of questions remaining about the TPP Agreement. This is a complex agreement that requires time to consider it in its entirety. It is natural and encouraging that Canadians are pressing for more information about the applications of the agreement and how Canadians across all regions and sectors will be affected.
In conclusion, I'd just like to say that Minister Freeland has often said that signing the agreement was a first step that gave Canada its originating status. Our immediate next step is to continue to seek the views of all Canadians and to support the government's commitment to have an open and public debate, including a parliamentary debate.
Thank you for your attention. I look forward to your questions.