iPolitics reports, “Though Trade Minister Ed Fast’s office won’t confirm, it appears the Trans-Pacific Partnership chief negotiators will be meeting in Vancouver in early July. According to sources — not to mention a trade publication report — the negotiations will take place in Vancouver’s Sheraton Wall Centre hotel from July 3 to July 12, with the chief negotiators only arriving for the final five days.”
It is believed that the talks in Vancouver will include a focus on financial services, intellectual property, the environment, State-Owned Enterprises, goods, and services.
And while it may be unlikely, it is possible that an ‘agreement in principle’ could be reached by the end of this year.
The Associated Press notes, “The U.S. and Japan should reach a compromise in trade negotiations to help conclude a trans-Pacific free trade pact by year’s end, a senior Japanese official said [on June 10]. …The U.S. and Japan are the largest players in the 12-nation TPP and resolving their differences is a major hurdle in finalizing the pact, whose members account for 40 per cent of global economic output. The chief negotiators of the 12 nations are due to hold another round of negotiations next month.”
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a 12-country Asia-Pacific ‘free trade’ proposal being negotiated among the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. The deal would eclipse the North American Free Trade Agreement in both size and scope.
The concerns that have been raised include: extended patent protections for prescription drugs that would delay the introduction of less-expensive generic drugs; investor-state provisions that would allow companies to sue governments over rules to protect the environment; procurement rules that would mean more corporate bidding-rights and restrictions on government spending to meet public interest priorities; common regulations and rules of origin; and the loss or weakening of Canada’s supply management system.
Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow says, “Once again the Harper government is forcing Canada into a major trade negotiation that will only benefit the 1 per cent. Like the Canada-EU deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership could force Canada to change its drug policies, its copyright policies, its environmental and public health rules – all without going through the normal parliamentary process. The deal would only benefit big business.”
She adds, “We are committed to fighting the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Harper’s other economic pacts that have nothing to do with jobs or trade and everything to do with limiting what we can do as a society to live sustainably and equitably.”
For more on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, please see our campaign web-page.
More on our plans for the Vancouver negotiating round soon.
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