Myers: TPP is defense; EU pact is offense; China is next
Jayson Myers, the head of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, was in Washington, DC today speaking about Canadian trade policy at the National Press Club.
On the Trans-Pacific Partnership:
“Canada has a clear defensive interest in TPP negotiations simply because we don’t want to see any NAFTA preference eroded by a trade agreement that does not include Canada and Mexico.”
On the EU trade agreement negotiations:
“The Canada EU trade agreement certainly offers the Canada business community more benefits in terms of an offensive trade policy than the TPP does.
“The European agreement in my view really sets the standard for a 21st century economic agreement.
“It approaches services in a new ways. Instead of a positive list, it moves to a negative list. It touches labour mobility. It will include state, provincial, municipal and federal procurement. A much more liberal code for procurement. It will include a more aggressive investment agreement. This is the first time the European Commission is negotiating an investment agreement. It will touch on agriculture and intellectual property.”
“If we can nail a European agreement, it will set the standard for negotiations with other countries.
“There will be be an announcement most likely at APEC that Canada and China will begin to negotiate a number of areas. Not necessarily a free trade agreement but there are significant areas of interest for Canada and China to negotiate. It’ll be an announcement about taking a look at a study of where the benefits of Canada and China lie and what sort of an economic negotiation would best hold those benefits for both sides. I think the key areas there are investment, tax, implementation of trade rules, and making sure there is effective enforcement of trade rules and intellectual property protection. From the Canadian point of view, the economic relationship with China is key.”