Canada says TPP trade deal dead without U.S.


Calgary | Reuters — The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal cannot proceed without the United States, Canada said on Tuesday, even as Australia and New Zealand pledged to salvage it.

U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the 12-nation TPP on Monday, following through on an election promise days after his inauguration.

“This agreement was so constructed that it can only enter into force with the United States as a ratifying country,” Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters in Calgary. “So the TPP as a deal cannot happen without the United States being a party to it.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Australia and New Zealand said they hoped to save the deal by encouraging China and other Asian countries to join the trade pact.

Canadian farmers produce far more grain, oilseeds and meat than the country can consume, and some farm groups had hoped to see the deal proceed.

“It’s disappointing,” said Robin Speer, executive director of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers. “We know trade improves productivity, innovation and supply chains, and helps drive economic growth.”

Canada is one of the world’s biggest exporters of wheat, beef and pork.

Ranchers were hoping to expand beef exports to Japan under lower tariffs included in TPP, said Dennis Laycraft, executive vice-president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. Laycraft said Canada should now focus on a trade deal with Japan.

Canadian dairy farmers, who operate in a tightly controlled system that manages supplies and price, have raised concerns about competing against more imports allowed under trade pacts. Dairy Farmers of Canada spokeswoman Isabelle Bouchard said the group has never opposed trade deals themselves, however.

Flavio Volpe, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association, said the Canadian auto sector, especially small- and medium-sized companies, will escape a threat from foreign competitors if TPP dies.

The trade agreement would have allowed parts and autos to enter Canada duty-free with just 30 percent to 45 percent of their content produced by a TPP nation, Volpe said.

— David Ljunggren is a political correspondent for Reuters based in Ottawa. Additional reporting by Allison Lampert in Montreal and writing by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg.


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