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UPDATE: Council launches Trans-Pacific Partnership campaign web-page

The Council of Canadians today launched a new web-page to mark its new campaign against the Trans-Pacific Partnership. To read more, please see http://canadians.org/tpp. That web-page notes:

On November 13, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Canada will apply to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The TPP is a nine-member Asia-Pacific free-trade proposal being negotiated among the United States, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Both Japan and Mexico have also expressed interest in joining the TPP. The free-trade pact, even without Mexico and Canada, would affect 600-million people in countries that produce $20-trillion in annual economic output.

The deal would reportedly eclipse the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in size and scope. The concerns that have been raised include: Canada’s supply management system is now on the negotiating table; common regulations and rules of origin will be discussed; intellectual-property protections being proposed for drugs would limit access to access to life-saving medicines; investor-state provisions would allow companies to sue governments over rules to protect the environment; government procurement would also be at risk.

Canada will meet bilaterally with all TPP participating countries, who will then decide whether or not to allow Canada into the negotiations.

The next round of TPP talks is scheduled for March 1-9 in Melbourne, Australia.

The nine countries now negotiating the TPP have agreed to complete the broad outlines of the free trade agreement by July 2012.

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