Canada’s Trade Future Must Champion Trans-Pacific Partnership

CALGARY, AB October 26, 2017 – Canada must look beyond the United States to the lucrative opportunities in a revived Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement for the country's best chance to immediately grow trade beyond NAFTA, according to a summary report released today by the Canada West Foundation and the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.

A TPP without the U.S. (TPP11) is a natural priority for Canada, said Carlo Dade, director of the Trade & Investment Centre at the Canada West Foundation. With a key Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting coming up in Vietnam in November, Canada needs to take leadership on forging ahead with TPP11.

Western Canada's Trade Agenda: TPP11 and Beyond, summarizes a June 2017 roundtable in Vancouver, B.C. that brought together trade experts to forge a list of trade priorities for western Canada, and to shape the country's national agenda. The roundtable was hosted by the Canada West Foundation and the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. Ideas that emerged from the discussion include:

  • The TPP11 should be a priority for Canada, alongside NAFTA and preparing to engage China.
  • There is a vacuum of TPP11 communication and advocacy from the federal government – and associated danger the deal could slip away.
  • Beyond the TPP11, Canada must be clear that Asia is its priority for growing into new markets.

The roundtable summary adds to findings from an earlier Canada West Foundation report, The Art of the Trade Deal: Quantifying the Benefits of a TPP Without the United States, that provided exclusive economic modelling that showed the value of proceeding with TPP11.

"NAFTA is unquestionably important to Canada, but we cannot afford to lose sight of the opportunities in TPP11. Not only will it open more markets in Asia for Canadian products, it will allow us to close the trade-agreement gap with our major competitors in the region," said Martha Hall Findlay, President and CEO, Canada West Foundation.

"Canada's trade strategy has relied on the United States too heavily, and for too long and we've left Asia on the backburner," said Canada West Foundation director, Carlo Dade. "The bad news is that disarray surrounding NAFTA talks is, once again, making this point. The good news is that TPP11 is within our grasp – as long as Ottawa shows leadership."

"TPP11 would provide Canada with preferential access to 10 dynamic APEC markets, including Japan, the world's third-largest economy," said Stewart Beck, President and CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. "In the context of multilateral international trade deals, this partnership represents both a new standard of trade liberalization in terms of its coverage and scope, and an opportunity for Canada to signal its renewed commitment to being a fair and collaborative partner in today's shifting global economy."

The Canada West Foundation focuses on the policies that shape the West, and by extension, Canada. It provides practical solutions to tough public policy challenges facing the West and Canada as a whole, at home and on the global stage.


For more information, contact:
Jamie Gradon
Communications Manager
Canada West Foundation

Michael Roberts
Communications Manager
Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada