Manila, Philippines, Nov. 18, 2015 - Canada must seize the opportunity represented by the rapid growth of the Asian economy, and the next step is the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce told the Canadian government today.
“Canada is losing market share in the fastest-growing region of the world. Turning this situation around requires an ambitious trade strategy that plays to our advantages in areas like energy, information and biotechnology, advanced manufacturing and agri-food. The TPP covers all of these areas, and what we need to now is to put it in place,” said Canadian Chamber President and CEO Perrin Beatty.
Speaking after a CEO roundtable with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland held during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in the Philippines, Mr. Beatty said he stressed that two key priorities for the government must be to ratify the TPP and to build the infrastructure that’s needed to get Canadian resources to our customers around the world.
“The TPP will give Canadian companies better access to a market worth trillions of dollars a year and create new job opportunities. It’s also a chance to work with our NAFTA partners and shape the way business competes for decades to come,” said Mr. Beatty. “Having reviewed the TPP text, we’re convinced this agreement is a net gain for Canada. But to take full advantage of the opportunities the TPP represents, we need to have the necessary trade-enabling infrastructure, including pipelines, in place. This should be the first area of focus in the government’s infrastructure plan since it will have the largest immediate and long-term benefits for the economy,” said Mr. Beatty.
At the Canadian Chamber’s annual meeting in Ottawa last month, delegates from chambers of commerce across the country endorsed a policy resolution calling on Canada to implement the TPP and to expand trade ties with China, India and Southeast Asia.
The TPP eliminates nearly all tariffs on Canadian imports and exports with member economies. It provides predictable market access for services, provisions for the movement of business people and rules on investment protection, intellectual property, e-commerce and state-owned enterprises that reflect Canada’s economic model. The agreement provides protection and safeguards for sensitive products and enforceable disciplines on labour and environmental standards, making it one of the most cutting-edge and sustainable trade agreements ever negotiated.
“We look forward to helping the government assess its full impact and develop plans for affected industries. Every time you open your market, there will be challenges but , with the right measures, we can tackle them,” said Mr. Beatty.
The APEC Summit takes place November 18-19 in Manila. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce and several of its members attended the APEC CEO Summit, where Mr. Beatty delivered remarks and met with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines.
The TPP creates a common economic area covering 12 countries, 40% of the global economy and over 800 million customers. Earlier this week, the APEC Business Advisory Council—the official industry voice at the Summit—called on TPP members to ratify the agreement and open the door for others in the region. Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan are among those who have asked to join.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between business and the federal government. It helps shape public policy and decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada with a network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 200,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all regions. Follow us on Twitter @CdnChamberofCom.
G. Will Dubreuil
Director, Public Affairs and Media Relations
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce