08/26/14 By David N. Biette, Director, Canada Institute, Wilson Center. Americas Trade Policy
One of the many goals of multilateral trade agreements is to level the field so that companies, industries, and countries compete on the basis of market forces. This requires all participants to be willing to open their markets in protected sectors in exchange for better access to the markets of their trade partners. In order to get the benefits sought, each party to the negotiation has to give up something.
As Canada wraps up its Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the EU, it remains deeply involved in another very ambitious multilateral negotiation: the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Canada became an observer to the TPP negotiations in 2010, but did not become a full member until 2012 because New Zealand, one of the founders of the TPP negotiations, and the United States held up Canada’s request due to concerns about Canada’s supply management of dairy, poultry, and eggs, as well as the longstanding U.S. complaint about Canada’s lack of protection for intellectual property rights.