Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Negotiations

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

A: The Trans-Pacific Partnership is one of the most ambitious trade and investment initiatives being negotiated in the Asia-Pacific region. TPP members want an ambitious, 21st-century agreement that will enhance trade and investment among the partner countries, promote innovation, economic growth and development, and create jobs.

There are 12 members of the TPP negotiations, a group that forms a significant and strategic bloc of advanced and growing economies. The TPP market represents more than 792 million people and a combined GDP of $28.1 trillion—more than 38 percent of the world’s economy.

Q: Why is Canada participating in the TPP?

A: An ambitious TPP agreement is a key pillar of Canada’s pro-trade plan. It will strengthen our efforts to broaden and deepen our trading relationships with Asia-Pacific markets, while at the same time taking advantage of our North American integrated supply-chains to further leverage our access to markets throughout the Asia-Pacific.

Q: What are the key benefits of Canada’s participation in the TPP?

A: Free trade agreements (FTAs) create jobs for Canadians and contribute to economic growth and long-term prosperity across the country. They do this by reducing or eliminating tariffs, quotas and other barriers to trade.  They also improve conditions for foreign investment by providing greater certainty, transparency and protection for investors. 

The TPP is a key pillar of Canada’s pro-trade plan to create new opportunities for exporters of goods and services in the fast-growing and dynamic Asia-Pacific region. A comprehensive, 21st-century agreement will create benefits not only businesses but workers and their families.

The TPP benefits Canadians in three principal ways:

  • 1. It is the most ambitious free trade initiative underway in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region, which will reduce tariffs on Canadian products and services; 
  • 2. It could expand to include new members and lead to further economic integration in the region which would boost Canada’s international trade; and
  • 3. It provides Canada with the opportunity to work alongside our largest trading partner, the U.S., to ensure that the outcomes of the agreement  further enhance North American integration and supply chains.

Q: What are the areas being negotiated under the TPP?

A: General information about some of the areas typically covered in free trade agreements can be found on the Trade Topics webpage.

In addition, the agreement’s broad outline, issued by TPP leaders in 2011, provides further insight into the objectives of the TPP and the areas under negotiation.

Q: How will TPP be a “21st-century” agreement?

A: Traditional free trade agreements focus on reducing tariffs for goods. In a modern, knowledge-based economy, however, setting the right conditions for increased trade requires much more.

TPP negotiators are placing significant emphasis on new and emerging trade challenges. They are seeking to raise the bar in relation to a number of issues such as disciplines on non-tariff barriers to trade, state-owned enterprises and regulatory coherence. Negotiators are also seeking to establish rules to support small and medium-sized enterprises, supply chains, and digital economies, among many other areas.   

A: In all international trade negotiations, Canada promotes and advances its interests in all areas under discussion to create jobs and opportunities for Canadians.

Canada is committed to helping develop a comprehensive TPP agreement, reflecting a balanced outcome that is in the best interests of Canadians. 

Q: Did the Government of Canada consult with Canadians on the TPP?

A: Yes. It launched a comprehensive consultation process in December 2011 to seek advice and views with respect to the TPP from provinces, territories, businesses and non-governmental organizations and the general public. This process indicated broad support for Canada’s entry into the negotiations and helped the government outline the parameters of this initiative (see Canada Gazette: Consultations on Potential Free Trade Agreement Negotiations with Trans-Pacific Partnership Members).  

As with any free-trade negotiation, interested stakeholders can continue to provide their views related to Canada’s interests in the TPP.  The Government of Canada employs a variety of mechanisms to do this, including:

  • 1. Through ongoing direct engagement with stakeholders and provinces and territories, and information sessions in association with each negotiation round;
  • 2. By continuously updating the TPP web site and by inviting feedback through our dedicated mailbox (TPP-PTPconsultations@international.gc.ca);
  • 3. Through consultations on Canada’s broader trade agenda; and
  • 4. By participating actively in the stakeholder engagement events organized by the host country during each negotiating round.

As part of the government’s commitment to accountability, all of Canada’s international trade agreements are tabled in the House of Commons to be debated, voted on and approved by Parliament prior to ratification and entry into force. 

Q: How is the Government of Canada keeping Canadians informed during negotiations?

A: The Government of Canada continues to engage with stakeholders on the TPP negotiations on an ongoing basis.  In addition, information is posted on our website at www.international.gc.ca/TPP

Stakeholders are also encouraged to submit their views by email through our dedicated mailbox (TPP-PTP@consultations.gc.ca).