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CPTPP legislation coming before the end of summer: Champagne

The legislation needed to ratify the pending Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement will be presented to the House of Commons before it rises for the summer, Canada’s international trade minister says.

In testimony before the House of Commons trade committee Tuesday morning, François-Philippe Champagne told MPs the Canadian government wants to be in the “first wave” of countries to ratify the trade deal.

He said Canadian officials plan to work “expeditiously” to get the legislation passed. The last possible sitting day of the House of Commons is June 22.

Champagne told MPs the legislation will not be passed before the summer, adding he plans to respect the parliamentary process.

The minister’s comments come just weeks after Champagne presented the full text of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership agreement, formerly the Trans Pacific Partnership, in the House of Commons May 23.

The 11 member nations signed the deal March 8 during a ceremony in Chile.

The Trudeau government has been pressured by stakeholders, notably export dependent farm groups, who want Canada to ratify the trade agreement as quickly as possible. In a letter to Champagne last week, the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance warned the minister that “the race is on as other CPTPP members are moving quickly to ratify the agreement.”

Mexico has already ratified the multi-lateral trade deal, with Japan expected to have its ratification process concluded by the end of June.

“Australia tabled the treaty in its Parliament and vows to expedite ratification,” the letter reads, while “Malaysia and Chile are both expected to ratify quickly. New Zealand, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam and Brunei are all working to ratify the CPTPP by the fall.”

The multi-nation trade deal is seen as a critical piece is Canadian trade policy by exporters who are grappling with ongoing uncertainty over the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement and increased American protectionism.

Source: iPolitics

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