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Join the discussion: FTA negotiations with the United Kingdom and its possible accession to the CPTPP

Current status: Open

Closes on April 27, 2021.

The Government of Canada is committed to diversifying its trade and investment ties with key markets and strengthening the rules-based, international trading system while pursuing an inclusive trade agenda.

Canada and the United Kingdom have a long-standing, historic relationship—marked by shared values and history, strong people to people links, and significant trade and investment ties. Recent history has created an opportunity for the 2 nations to expand and strengthen existing trade ties. Before entering into these negotiations, the Government of Canada is seeking the input of Canadians from coast to coast.

The government’s inclusive approach to trade puts the interests of Canadians and opportunities for women, Indigenous people and racialized communities front and centre, while seeking to generate growth, create jobs and strengthen the middle class. The Government of Canada is soliciting the views of the Canadian public and interested stakeholders to help define our priorities in relation to future trade negotiations with the United Kingdom.

Following the U.K.’s departure from the European Union (EU), the U.K. and Canada committed to continuing and strengthening their long-standing trade relationship. On December 9, 2020, Canada and the U.K. signed the Canada-U.K. Trade Continuity Agreement (Canada-U.K. TCA) to provide stability and predictability for businesses and workers in both countries. This Agreement substantively replicates the provisions of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) to ensure continuity in the Canada-U.K. trade relationship following the U.K. departure from the EU (Brexit).  Beyond the TCA, Canada and the U.K. have also committed to enter into subsequent negotiations within one year of its entry into force, and to work towards concluding a new comprehensive trade agreement within three years that is tailored to the bilateral relationship.

Additionally, on February 1, 2021, the United Kingdom submitted a notification of intent to begin the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) accession process. The CPTPP is an ambitious regional free trade agreement (FTA) between Canada and 10 other Asia-Pacific nations: Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The agreement has high standards for priorities such as labour, the environment and inclusivity. The 11 CPTPP members together represent 509 million consumers and account for 12.9% of global GDP. The CPTPP is currently in force in Canada, Australia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam. The agreement will enter into force for the remaining signatories 60 days after the completion of their respective domestic ratification procedures.

The CPTPP signals a shared commitment among members to maintain an open, inclusive and rules-based global trading system. Following the conclusion of the Canada-U.K. TCA and the United Kingdom’s formal notification of intent to join the CPTPP, Global Affairs Canada is seeking input from Canadians on our priorities with respect to bilateral negotiations and/or negotiations toward the United Kingdom’s potential membership in the CPTPP. The accession of new members that are able to meet the CPTPP’s high standards and commitments would allow Canada to secure preferential access to new markets or enhance access to markets already covered by bilateral FTAs, while furthering Canada’s inclusive trade agenda. Discussions towards a bilateral free trade agreement with the United Kingdom and its possible accession to the CPTPP would thus present an opportunity for Canada to further enhance its relationship with one of its largest trading partners as it continue discussions towards a bilateral free trade agreement with that same partner, the United Kingdom.

We want to hear from you

Through these consultations, we want to hear your views, your experiences, and your priorities for the bilateral free trade agreement negotiations with the United Kingdom and for the United Kingdom’s potentially joining the CPTPP.

These consultations will help define Canada’s interests and priorities throughout negotiations. As a trading nation, Canada is committed to strengthening the rules-based, international trading system and pursuing an inclusive trade agenda. A new, comprehensive bilateral agreement tailored to the Canada-United Kingdom relationship would seek to benefit all Canadians, from industry and businesses to workers. Similarly, should the United Kingdom join an agreement such as the CPTPP, Canada would seek for this to meaningfully contribute to our overall priorities for an inclusive, sustainable future that generates growth and creates jobs.

Join in: How to participate

The Government of Canada is seeking input from diverse Canadian voices from coast to coast. There are different ways you can participate in these consultations. You can provide a written submission in response to the Canada Gazette notice until April 27, 2021, using one of these options:

  1. send your submission or any questions by email to Consultations@international.gc.ca
  2. send your submissions or any questions by mail to:

Canada-U.K. Trade Consultations
Global Affairs Canada
Trade Policy and Negotiations Division (TCA)
Lester B. Pearson Building
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G2

Please read the privacy notice statement carefully prior to sending a written submission. When providing your personal opinion(s), we ask that you refrain from including the personal information of other individuals.

Who is the focus of this consultation

We want to hear the views of all Canadians, including, but not limited to:

  • individuals
  • businesses of all sizes, including micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs)
  • industry associations
  • experts/academics
  • civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations
  • labour unions
  • provincial, territorial and municipal governments
  • Indigenous peoples
  • women’s associations, LGBTQ2 stakeholders and community groups representing diverse experiences
  • students and youth
  • other interested Canadian stakeholders

As we seek to ensure that more Canadians have access to the benefits and opportunities that flow from international trade and investment, we welcome input from traditionally underrepresented groups like women, Indigenous peoples and racialized communities. We welcome submissions on the potential impacts—gender-related, environmental and social—of launching negotiations with the United Kingdom.

Purpose of the consultations

Public consultations will help identify what is most important to Canadians in the negotiations and determine how Canada should best proceed. The Canada Gazette notice on these consultations provides background information on this initiative.

Canada-U.K. bilateral free trade agreement

Through free trade agreement negotiations, Canada and the United Kingdom have the opportunity to establish terms of trade that are best suited to their needs and current relationship, which can include a revision of existing provisions and/or the addition of new areas for discussion. These consultations focused on the Canada-U.K. trade relationship will help to identify the areas of focus for Canada in the prospective bilateral negotiations. In parallel, the government is seeking the views of Canadians on the potential impacts and opportunities that a Canada-United Kingdom bilateral trade agreement may have on the Canadian labour market, and with respect to the environment and gender. Learn more about the impact assessments of a future Canada-U.K. FTA.

U.K. accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership

As the rules of the agreement are already established and in force between existing parties, discussions with the United Kingdom on its acceding to the CPTPP will focus on specific aspects of trade such as goods, services, financial services, investment, temporary entry for business persons, government procurement and state-owned enterprises.

The United Kingdom—and any other economy wishing to accede to the CTPPP—will be required to meet the CPTPP’s high standards and commitments. These consultations will also help to identify any issues and concerns that are relevant when considering the United Kingdom’s accession to the CPTPP.

What is the deadline for consultation submissions?

The submission period for the Canada Gazette notice will last 45 days, and end on April 27, 2021. The Government of Canada is committed to hearing from Canadians on this topic and will ensure that Canadians continue to have the opportunity to provide their views through our ongoing consultation efforts.

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