About the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is a free trade agreement (FTA) between Canada and 10 other countries in the Asia-Pacific region: Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The CPTPP entered into force on December 30, 2018, in the first six countries to have ratified the agreement: Canada, Australia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, and Singapore. The Agreement entered into force between Canada and Vietnam on January 14, 2019. For the remaining signatories, the CPTPP will enter into force 60 days after their ratification.
The CPTPP incorporates, by reference, a majority of the provisions from the original agreement: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The CPTPP preserves the TPP’s high level of ambition on trade rules and market access, with updated procedures on withdrawal, accession and review of the agreement after entry into force. 22 provisions have been suspended from the TPP. Hence, they will not apply under the CPTPP. Canada also negotiated a number of bilateral side instruments with other CPTPP countries that build upon the Agreement’s outcomes and secure additional commitments in areas such as automobiles and culture.
With 30 chapters in total, the CPTPP covers virtually all aspects of trade between Canada and the 10 other CPTPP members. The Agreement features ambitious market-access commitments in trade in goods, services, investment, labour mobility, and government procurement. The Agreement also establishes clear rules that help create a consistent, transparent and fair environment to do business in CPTPP markets, with dedicated chapters covering key issues like technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, customs administration, transparency, and state-owned enterprises. Additionally, the CPTPP features chapters on the protection of the environment and labour rights, which are enforceable by dispute settlement, to ensure that CPTPP members do not derogate from their commitments in these areas to increase trade or investment. The Agreement also includes a variety of chapters aimed at trade-related technical cooperation among CPTPP members, including with respect to small and medium-sized enterprises, regulatory coherence and economic development.
Benefits of the agreement
Once fully implemented, the CPTPP will establish a free trade area that spans the Asia-Pacific region, with its 11 member countries representing 13.5% of global GDP and 500 million consumers. The CPTPP’s key benefits and outcomes include:
- new opportunities for a broad range of Canadian industries and sectors, including aerospace, agriculture, fish and seafood, forestry, industrial manufacturing, information and communications technologies, metals and minerals, as well as environmental, financial and professional services.
- preferential access to seven markets in the Asia-Pacific region that Canada does not have an existing FTA with: Australia, Brunei, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam. In 2017, Canada’s merchandise trade with these countries totalled $46.5 billion, in addition to $11.1 billion in services trade.
- enhanced access to current FTA partners in Chile, Mexico and Peru by building upon existing commitments and offering new opportunities for Canadians in these markets. For example, Canadians can benefit from access to public procurement opportunities at the sub-national level in Chile—an area not covered by the Canada-Chile FTA.
- a level playing field for Canadian exporters with respect to competitors from other countries in the region that already enjoy enhanced access to key markets like Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam. Through preferential treatment, Canadian exporters will also enjoy an advantage over their competitors that do not enjoy the same level of access.
- enhanced rules and obligations to ensure transparency, predictability, and consistency for Canadians trading and investing in CPTPP markets, providing greater certainty and reducing the time and costs of participating in international trade.
- comprehensive commitments that address challenges and issues faced by Canadians in the contemporary global economy, such as non-tariff barriers and state-owned enterprises, to help level the playing field and promote a fair and competitive business environment.
- strong provisions that help protect and advance Canadian interests, such as the protection of the environment, labour rights and preservation of the right to regulate in the public interest, while enhancing trade and investment with CPTPP markets.
- an ambitious outcome that sets a new standard for rules on trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region and promotes and reinforces Canada’s commitment to the rules-based international system and global free trade.
Additionally, the CPTPP includes an accession process that provides for the further expansion of the Agreement’s membership now that the Agreement is in force. Any economy that is able to meet the high-standard rules and ambitious market access commitments of the CPTPP can seek to join the Agreement, subject to negotiations on terms and conditions with the current CPTPP members. As a result, the CPTPP may provide Canada with preferential access to additional markets in the Asia-Pacific region in the future.
For more information about the benefits or outcomes of the Agreement for specific sectors or regions of Canada, please see our dedicated CPTPP factsheets, which can be accessed from the CPTPP homepage. Learn more about each section of the Agreement and their key outcomes through our chapter summaries.
Implementation and ratification
The Government of Canada’s procedures to ratify international agreements includes a number of required steps, including tabling the treaty (and any related binding instruments) in the House of Commons for debate, passing implementing legislation in Parliament and implementing any necessary regulatory changes to comply with a treaty’s obligations:
- On January 23, 2018, Canada and the 10 other CPTPP members concluded negotiations.
- On March 8, 2018, the CPTPP members signed the Agreement in Santiago, Chile.
- On May 23, 2018, the Government of Canada tabled the CPTPP and its related binding instruments in the House of Commons.
- On June 14, 2018, then Minister of International Trade François-Philippe Champagne introduced implementing legislation for the CPTPP (Bill C-79) in the House of Commons for consideration, debate and passage through Parliament.
- On September 17, 2018, Minister of International Trade Diversification Jim Carr opened second reading on Bill C-79 as the Government’s first order of business upon the resumption of parliamentary proceedings from summer recess.
- On October 25, 2018, Bill C-79 received royal assent, becoming a federal statute.
- On October 29, 2018, Minister Carr announced that the Government of Canada had notified the agreement’s depositary of the completion of its domestic legal procedures to bring the CPTPP into force.
Canada is the fifth country to ratify the CPTPP, after Mexico (June 28, 2018), Japan (July 6, 2018), Singapore (July 19, 2018) and New Zealand (October 25, 2018). Australia ratified the CPTPP on October 30, 2018, triggering the Agreement’s entry into force provision.
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation Act can be found on the Department of Justice Canada’s website.
Entry into force
The CPTPP entered into force on December 30, 2018, among the first six countries to have ratified the Agreement: Canada, Australia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, and Singapore. For the remaining signatories, the CPTPP will enter into force 60 days after its ratification.
Upon entry into force, the commitments set out in the CPTPP became legally binding for all parties who have ratified it. The first six CPTPP parties made their first tariff cut upon entry into force, immediately eliminating duties on 89% of tariff lines between them. For tariff lines subject to phase-out periods under the Agreement, CPTPP parties will make subsequent tariff cuts once a year, in accordance with their respective commitments under the Agreement, until tariffs are fully eliminated or reduced. Subsequent tariff cuts will take place on January 1 of each year after the CPTPP’s entry into force, except for Japan, which will make its subsequent tariff cuts on April 1 of each year. Accordingly, Canada, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, and Singapore made their second tariff cut on January 1, 2019, and Japan made its second tariff cut on April 1, 2019.
As one of the first six countries to ratify the CPTPP, Canada has the ability to select the pace of tariff eliminations between Canada and subsequent countries that ratify the Agreement. Specifically, Canada may choose to have a country that ratifies later “catch up” or “match” Canada’s tariff elimination. This results in said country making the same number of tariff cuts upon entry into force as they would have made if the Agreement had come into effect for them on December 30, 2018.
For example, the CPTPP entered into force between Canada and Vietnam on January 14, 2019. Canada and Vietnam “matched” tariff cuts, meaning that Canadian exporters immediately benefited from two tariff cuts on that date. Likewise, Canada made two tariff cuts vis-à-vis imports from Vietnam, matching the tariff cuts already provided to the other five countries that have brought the CPTPP into force.
For more information, please see how tariff eliminations work under the CPTPP.
For importing goods into the Canadian market, Canada’s Customs Tariff is available on the Canada Border Services Agency’s website.
Learn more about the CPTPP
Learn more about the CPTPP and how it can benefit you or your business through our various online resources about the Agreement:
- benefits by sector and region – factsheets available from the CPTPP homepage
- chapter summaries
- full text of the Agreement
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