Trans-Pacific Partnerhsip (TPP) Free Trade Negotiations

Myths and Realities

Myth #1: Free trade agreements (FTA) threaten Canada’s public services.

Facts:

Canada’s FTAs exclude health care, public education and other social services maintained for a public purpose.

Canada’s FTAs do not force governments to privatize, contract out or deregulate public services.

Myth #2: Free trade agreements prevent governments from regulating environmental, labour, health-care and safety standards.

Facts:

Canada’s FTAs do not prevent governments from regulating standards that protect the public, including in the areas of the environment, labour, health care and safety.

Nothing in any of Canada’s FTAs exempts foreign service providers and foreign investors from Canadian laws and regulations.

Myth #3: Free trade agreements threaten Canada’s public health-care system.

Facts:

Canada’s FTAs do not support the privatization of Canada’s public health-care system.

Myth #4: Free trade agreements harm Canadian environmental standards and regulations.

Facts:

Canada’s FTAs do not compromise the environmental protection measures that Canada has implemented.

Nothing in any of Canada’s FTAs exempts foreign service providers and foreign investors from Canadian laws and regulations.

Myth #5: The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement will prevent the Government of Canada from protecting Canada’s cultural interests.

Facts:

Canada’s FTAs have not prevented Canada from protecting its cultural interests. The preservation and promotion of Canada’s cultural diversity is among the Government of Canada’s core objectives.

These same allegations were made during the NAFTA negotiations 20 years ago. Today, however, Canadian culture is thriving like never before. Canadian books, television, films, visual arts, music and other art forms are prominent on the world stage.

Under a TPP agreement, Canada will continue to meet its cultural objectives.

Myth #6: Free trade agreements allow foreign investors and foreign companies to challenge Canadian laws and regulations.

Facts:
Canada’s FTAs do not allow foreign investors or companies to force a government to change its laws and regulations.

Including mechanisms for dispute resolution through international arbitration in FTAs does not restrict any level of government from legitimately legislating in the public interest.

Canadian and foreign investors alike are subject to all Canadian laws and regulations, including those pertaining to environmental, labour, health-care, building and safety standards.

A TPP agreement would provide a strong, rules-based framework for investment and would help provide both Canadian and foreign companies with a stable environment for investment.

Myth #7: The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement would limit Internet freedoms and lead to overly stiff penalties for Canadian users.

Facts:

Strong IP protection helps promote innovation, attract new investment, and stimulate economic growth.

The IP chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement is still under negotiation. Canada remains committed to ensuring that this chapter balances the interests of both rightholders and users.

The Government’s recently enacted Copyright Modernization Act demonstrates that Canada continues to recognize the importance of balancing copyright protection and respecting the interests and freedoms of users.

Myth #8: The Government of Canada negotiated the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement secretly.

Facts:

Throughout the negotiations, the Government of Canada has kept Canadians informed and has consulted to ensure that a TPP agreement would meet the needs of Canadians.

The Government of Canada regularly receives valuable input from civil society groups, companies and industry associations from across Canada. We invite Canadians to continue sending in comments through our dedicated mailbox at TPP-PTP@consultations.gc.ca.

Under the Policy on the Tabling of Treaties in Parliament, a TPP agreement will be publicly tabled in the House of Commons.