RISK: Deal reached on Trans-Pacific Partnership

Canada's dairy and auto sectors could be forced to face greater competition

A Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement has been made after several all-night negotiating sessions in Atlanta.

The deal will remove trade barriers for 12 Pacific Rim countries: United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. These countries make up 40 percent of the global economy.

Canada’s agricultural and auto sectors could be forced to face greater competition.

Tariffs on Canada’s beef exports to Japan, for example, will drop from 38 percent to 9 percent over the next 15 years. Cars will be allowed into Canada without any tariffs if at least 45 percent of its parts are from the TPP region. That’s lower than than the 62.5 percent regional-content provision under NAFTA.

The federal cabinet has already approved a plan to spend $4.3 billion over the next 15 years to protect Canadian farmers from partnership’s effect, Harper says.

He adds the concessions Canada has made in the dairy sector are modest–an additional 3.25 percent of foreign imports would be allowed–and cites the fund as more than enough to ensure dairy producers are protected.

Trade Minister Ed Fast says Canada does not anticipate any job losses because of the partnership, but some industries will have to adapt.

The deal which was expected to be concluded on Friday, was delayed by a disagreement between Australia and the U.S. over next-generation pharmaceuticals, Australian trade minister Andrew Robb told reporters on Sunday.

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