Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers.
With regard to part (a), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, CPTPP, has been in force since 2018, and has now been ratified by all original 11 signatories, with Brunei Darussalam most recently notifying on May 14, 2023. It is an ambitious and high standard agreement that strengthens the rules-based international trading system. By eliminating tariffs and creating consistent and transparent rules and procedures for doing business, the CPTPP will generate long-term GDP gains for Canada.
These benefits are already being realized by Canadian businesses. In the fifth year since entry into force, total merchandise trade between Canada and all CPTPP partners was $123.6 billion in 2022, growing by 26.1% as compared to 2018. These results are significantly higher than the gains that were projected under the economic impact assessment, EIA, that was conducted by the Government of Canada based on the negotiated outcomes of the CPTPP, which projected Canada’s exports to other CPTPP countries to increase by only 4.2%. Canada’s merchandise exports to CPTPP partners reached a record high of $37.5 billion, rising by 31.1% in 2022, as compared to 2018. Canadian merchandise imports also experienced strong growth over this period, rising 24.1% to reach $86.1 billion in 2022. In 2022, Canada merchandise exports to Japan, a market that Canadian businesses gained preferential access to under the CPTPP, reached $18.0 billion, rising 38.8% compared to 2018. This is significantly greater than the 8.6% increase projected under the EIA. Further, in 2022, agricultural goods led Canada’s top exports to Japan at $5.4 billion, representing an 18.8% increase over 2018. Japan is the third-largest export destination for Canadian agriculture and agri-food products after the United States and China.
With regard to part (b), the CPTPP is expected to continue having a positive impact on the Canadian economy in the next five years and beyond, especially as it enters into force for all original signatories. With the recent conclusion of negotiations for the United Kingdom’s accession to the CPTPP and six other economies having applied for accession, the CPTPP has a high growth potential. Accessions will expand the benefits of the CPTPP that could lead to new investment and export opportunities for Canada. Accessions provide an efficient path for securing preferential access to new markets or enhanced access to markets already covered by Canadian FTAs. Further, accessions will expand the single set of rules between Canada, CPTPP members and accession candidates, making trade more predictable, transparent and accessible for Canadian businesses.
With regard to part (c), the CPTPP, like all of Canada’s free trade agreements, conforms with the World Trade Organization, WTO, rules. The three WTO agreements cover goods, services and intellectual property. The WTO General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, GATT, and General Agreement on Trade in Services, GATS, were established with the objectives of creating a credible and reliable system of international trade rules; ensuring fair and equitable treatment of all participants, principle of non-discrimination; stimulating economic activity through guaranteed policy bindings; and promoting trade and development through progressive liberalization by elimination of discriminatory measures and/or prohibition of new discriminatory measures. The CPTPP incorporates the requirements of GATS and GATT throughout the text of the agreement, including in article 1.1, which establishes that the CPTPP is “consistent with Article XXIV of [General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade] GATT 1994 and Article V of [General Agreement on Trade in Services] GATS.”
The WTO agreement on intellectual property, Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, TRIPS, plays a critical role in facilitating trade in knowledge and creativity, in resolving trade disputes over intellectual property, and in recognizing the significant links between intellectual property and trade. The CPTPP incorporates the TRIPS agreement throughout the Intellectual Property chapter.
The CPTPP was reviewed by the WTO committee on regional trade agreements, CRTA, on June 21, 2021. The WTO CRTA considers individual regional agreements, is mandated to hold discussions on the systemic implications of the agreements for the multilateral trading system and undertakes to assess the compatibility of individual trade agreements with WTO provisions. WTO members submitted multiple questions to CPTPP parties regarding CPTPP provisions. No members objected to the CPTPP’s compliance with the WTO rules.