October 7th, 2015

NDP REALITY CHECK: TPP not a done deal say senior American legislators

Stephen Harper is trying to tell Canadians that his deal with the Trans-Pacific Partnership is the best deal Canada can get, and that it’s a done deal. But we know that’s not true. Senior American legislators and trade negotiators are signalling that TPP is not a done deal, and that the United States will likely propose changes.

Michael Froman, head US negotiator of the TPP, has acknowledged that signing the deal is only a first step:

The conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership_, after years of negotiations and a series of sleepless nights here, was merely “an important first step,” conceded Michael B. Froman, the United States trade representative, as he and other weary officials announced their accord_. (New York Times, October 6, 2015)

The United States is heading into a presidential election as the TPP is coming before the house:

( . . .) clearing Congress in the midst of a presidential election will be no small task. The same issues that caused negotiators to stay four extra days in Atlanta are certain to prove controversial on Capitol Hill and on the campaign trail. (CNN, October 6, 2015)

Andrew Kinningham, senior global economist at Capital Economics has highlighted some of the hurdles yet to come:

"Democrats are opposed, as are leading Republican presidential candidates, including Donald Trump. With presidential elections due next year, the TPP may well get blocked in Congress," said Kenningham. (CNBC, October 6, 2015)

Sandy Levin, the lead Democrat on the influential Ways and Means Committee, has even signalled that changes are possible:

“We have to get this agreement right, which is why no one should be surprised if the 90-day period results in additional changes, particularly since many of these issues are the subjects of bi-lateral negotiations.” (Statement, October 5, 2015)

Finance Committee Chair and U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch has warned that TPP could lose votes amongst Republicans in congress:

"You could lose quite a few," adding that he was reserving judgment on the agreement until he sees more details. (Reuters, October 6, 2015)

If our American counterparts understand that the deal isn’t done, why is Stephen Harper insisting it is?

Tom Mulcair won’t be bound by Stephen Harper’s bad deal. He’ll fight hard for Canadian jobs and stand up for families.