By Bruce Cochrane
The research lead with Agri-Food Economic Systems suggests the United States is the key to a successful Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement moving forward.
In October the 12 nations negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement announced an agreement in principal and the deal now must be ratified by the governments of those countries.
Agri-Food Economic Systems has been evaluating the implications of that pending deal.
Dr. Al Mussell, the research lead, says the biggest concern for Canada has been that the U.S. might obtain differential access to some of those markets, especially Japan, so involvement by Canada has largely been viewed as a defensive initiative.
Dr. Al Mussell-Agri-Food Economic Systems:
I think there's a bit of a sense that we're looking to the U.S. here.
If the U.S. does not approve TPP I would expect that the agreement in principle is probably dead.
In fact there's probably parts of the text that's now been released that talk about what it takes to get a TPP agreement.
It may be possible that, if the U.S. decides not to ratify it, nobody else will either.
Japan I believe badly needs this agreement.
They've staked a lot in it so, unless something changes, my guess is that Japan will ratify it.
As you know the Canadian government is studying the implications for Canada.
My guess is, and I've certainly heard others give the same opinion, my guess is that Canada probably will choose to ratify it but really a lot of this rests with the U.S. quite frankly and there are differences of opinion on that.
Dr. Mussell says a key goal for Canada in the TPP was to obtain market access similar to that of the U.S. and Canada has been largely successful in doing that.