Bad news for Canada as Donald Trump announces withdrawal from TPP deal on day one of presidency

by: Obert Madondo |  | Published Nov 21, 2016, by The Canadian Progressive

The death of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement will come sooner than expected.

In an informercial-style video released Monday, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said he will withdraw from the controversial mega deal as soon as he assumes office on January 20. Calling the TPP deal “a potential disaster for our country”, Trump also provided an update on the ongoing controversial presidential transition process and his policy plans for the first 100 days.

The withdrawal from the TPP will be a huge blow to Canada. It signials the beginning of an early renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Canada negotiated the TPP deal under former prime minister Stephen Harper.  After winning the 2015 federal elections, the Trudeau Liberals became as enthusiastic backers of the deal as the Conservatives.

After years of secretive negotiations Canada and 11 other countries that signed the deal in New Zealand on Feb. 4, 2016, creating the world’s largest economic trade agreement, encompassing more than 40 per cent of the world’s GDP. The 12 parties to the TPP are: Canada, the United States, Australia, Chile, Brunei, Japan, Peru, Mexico, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, and New Zealand.

The Canadian argument against the TPP has always been compelling.

In the publication, Fighting TTIP, CETA and ISDS: Lessons from Canada, Maude Barlow, the national chairperson of the Council Canadians, did a remarkable job highlighting the negative impacts of the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions of mega trade deals such as the TPP and Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

The Canadian Progressive has previously covered the TPP as follows:

On the campaign trail, Trump vowed to “rip up international trade deals.” He labeled NAFTA the “single worst trade deal ever approved in this country.” Soon after his surprise victory, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered to renegotiate NAFTA.

Canada is on the ropes here. Under Trump, America comes first. 

According to Michael Geist, the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, in terms of intellectual property (IP) and digital policies, “a new NAFTA could become Canada’s own private TPP.”

“If NAFTA is reopened, the U.S. will likely use the opportunity to reinsert the TPP intellectual property provisions into the agreement,” Geist stated in a recent blog post. “NAFTA contains some IP provisions, but it is not nearly as detailed or prescriptive as today’s typical U.S. trade deal which place an enormous emphasis on exporting U.S. copyright rules, expanding patent protections, and increasing IP enforcement provisions. Consistent with those policy goals, the TPP contains IP rules that would require amendments to Canadian law, notably extension in the term of copyright, patent law changes, expanded border measure rules, criminalization of trade secret law, and trademark reforms.”

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Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based progressive blogger, and the founder and editor of The Canadian Progressive. Follow him on Twitter: @Obiemad

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Obert Madondo

Publisher and editor
Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based independent journalist and progressive political blogger. He's the publisher and editor of The Canadian Progressive.