On March 25, 2012, Prime Minister Harper and Japanese Prime Minister Noda announced the launch of comprehensive and high-level economic partnership agreement (EPA) negotiations, or free trade negotiations, in Tokyo, Japan (see News Release: PM announces launch of free trade negotiations with Japan).
The announcement follows the March 7, 2012, release of a Canada and Japan Joint Study examining the feasibility for a free trade agreement and outlining a broad range of issues which could be negotiated, including trade in goods, services, investment and trade facilitation (see Report of the Joint Study on the Possibility of a Canada-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement). The Joint Study examines each country’s approach to these various issues, and the areas of common ground. The study also summarizes the significant economic gains to be achieved through free trade with Japan. For instance, it projects potential gross domestic product gains of approximately US$4 billion each for Canada and Japan as a result of free trade. According to the study’s findings, there remains much untapped potential in the Canada-Japan trade relationship.
Beginning on February 26, 2011, the Government of Canada embarked on a comprehensive consultation process with the Canadian public, provinces and territories, businesses and non-governmental organizations to seek input on a potential free trade initiative with Japan (see Canada Gazette: Consultations on Possible Negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan). The Government acknowledges the input of all Canadians who have contributed to the consultative process to date and wishes to assure them that their views will be taken into account as the Canada-Japan economic relationship continues to evolve and in the development of Canada’s trade agenda more broadly.
If you have questions or comments, we would like to hear from you. Please contact Foreign Affairs & International Trade Canada at:
Trade Negotiations Division II (TPW)
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Lester B. Pearson Building
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0G2