Notice of Intent to Conduct a Strategic Environmental Assessment on a Plurilateral International Services Agreement

Closing date: June 19, 2013

On March 18, 2013, The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, announced that Canada will join 20 other World Trade Organization members, in negotiations toward a plurilateral international services agreement amongst themselves. The working name for this initiative is Trade in Services Agreement (TISA).

The current participants in these discussions with Canada are Australia, the United States, the European Union, New Zealand, Korea, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Hong Kong China, Norway, Switzerland, Pakistan, Israel, Peru, Costa Rica, Turkey, Panama and Iceland. However, other interested WTO members could potentially join the negotiations and a finished agreement would also be open for accession to other WTO members.

The Government of Canada is conducting an Environmental Assessment (EA) to inform these trade discussions. Comments are invited on any likely and significant environmental impacts on Canada resulting from a prospective plurilateral international services agreement.

The Government of Canada is committed to sustainable development. Mutually supportive trade, investment and environmental policies can contribute to this objective. To this end, negotiators endeavor to obtain relevant information and otherwise improve their understanding of the relationship between trade and environmental issues at the earliest stages of decision making, and to do this through an open and inclusive process. Environmental assessments of trade negotiations are critical to this work.

This process is undertaken in accordance with the 2010 Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan, and Program Proposals.

For more information, please visit the following Web site:

All interested parties are invited to submit their views on any likely and significant environmental impacts on Canada resulting from a prospective plurilateral international services agreement by June 19, 2013.

Contributions can be sent to:

Plurilateral International Services Agreement Environmental Assessment
Trade Agreements and NAFTA Secretariat (TAS)
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G2
Fax: 613-992-9392
Email: EAconsultationsEE@international.gc.ca