American demands would likely trump our concerns about mega trade deal.
The Trans Pacific Partnership, a massive trade deal that covers 40 per cent of the world’s GDP, has mushroomed into a political hot potato in the United States. Presidential candidates Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are all expressing either opposition or concern with the agreement. With the deal in doubt in the U.S., the Canadian government is using the uncertainty to jump-start a much-anticipated and long-overdue public consultation.
Earlier this month, the Standing Committee on International Trade announced plans for hearings to be held across the country and invited all Canadians to provide written submissions by the end of the April. When added to the open call for comments from Global Affairs Canada, the government department that negotiated the TPP, the public has an important opportunity to have its voice heard on a trade deal that could impact virtually every aspect of the Canadian economy.
The national consultation comes as a growing number of Canadian business leaders express concerns with the agreement. Jim Balsillie, the former co-CEO of Research In Motion, has garnered considerable media attention for his criticisms, and others have joined him in recent weeks, including Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke and Ford Canada CEO Dianne Craig.
Yet just as Canadians begin to grapple with fine print of the 6,000 page agreement, it has become increasingly clear that Canada will face stiff opposition from the U.S. if it seeks to exercise flexibility in how it implements the deal.
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