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Friday, September 25, 2015
Harper: Selling Canadians up the proverbial creek while they are distracted by the election
Canada negotiating TPP ‘as if there’s no election’: New Zealand trade minister
The Conservatives aren’t using the federal election as an excuse to delay reaching a final Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, according to New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser.
“The Canadians are negotiating as if there’s no election,” he said in an interview with the New Zealand Herald, published Wednesday. “Everyone is really trying.”
As iPoliticsreported Tuesday, there isn’t really anything stopping the Conservatives from concluding the talks in the final weeks of the federal election.
And with the 12 countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership trying to reach a final agreement in Atlanta next week, Groser identified three familiar stumbling blocks: market access for both dairy and autos, and patent extensions for biologic pharmaceuticals.
Though trade has factored very little into the federal election campaign thus far, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper surprised some by saying in last week’s economic debate that the Canadian auto sector might not like everything in TPP — but would be hurt more by being shut out of global supply chains.
“That would be a disaster. We’re going to make sure we get the best deal for that and all of our sectors,” he said.
Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and Japan held auto-specific negotiations in San Francisco on Monday and Tuesday that failed to result in a deal. But the trade publication Inside U.S. Tradereported that enough got accomplished to move ahead with the ministerial meeting in Atlanta.