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Brad Wall and the TPP: An Unrequited Love Story

January 1, 1970

1-minute read

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall loves the TransPacific Partnership. In fact, he loves the free trade deal so much, that he waded into the federal election to discourage voters from voting for the federal NDP due to their opposition to the trade deal. "If they're looking at options in the federal election, the NDP's interests, the NDP's policies in this federal election, do not align with the interests of the people in the province of Saskatchewan," said Wall. This must be some sweet deal

Globally tariffs are at all-time lows. As a result of multilateral trade agreements (WTO) and existing Canadian FTAs, 97% of Canadian exports enter TPP countries tariff free. Because the remaining tariffs are already so low, most economists project a negligible economic upside for Canada of 0% to 0.22% GDP growth by 2025. This could explain why the government never released a detailed economic impact assessment before agreeing to the deal in Atlanta.

Canada already has free trade deals in place with four of the larger TPP countries (Peru, Chile, U.S. and Mexico) and tariffs on trade with the others are already low. TPP countries with which Canada does not already have an FTA make up only 3% of its total exports and 5% of its imports.

Many prominent economists, including Paul Krugman, Jo- seph Stiglitz and Dani Rodrik, feel that the trade impacts of TPP are far less import- ant than the serious concerns it raises about excessive intellectual property rights, regulatory harmonization and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS).

The Canadian government has not published a study of the deal’s potential economic impact, but independent analyses offer grim forecasts. An UNCTAD study predicts a 26% drop in Canada’s value-added exports as a consequence of the TPP. Even optimistic U.S. government forecasts predict no net GDP growth for Canada due to the TPP.

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