All our lives, most of us have known what TP stands for. It’s the stuff that always runs out in the bathroom when you least expect it. In this never-ending world of acronyms, the new one is TPP.
Stephen Harper’s negotiators have tentatively made this country one of a dozen nations who will be linked in the Trans Pacific Partnership. It’s being billed as “the largest trade deal in the history of the world”. We still don’t know a great deal about it, and we won’t have access to the full text until after the election. So much for transparency.
We do know that we’ll be able to buy a bit more in the way of American dairy products, and our dairy farmers will receive billions in compensation. It looks like thousands more manufacturing jobs will be disappearing, particularly in the auto sector. They’re not getting nearly as much to cushion the blow, because chances are those jobs would have left the country anyway, even without TPP.
I wouldn’t be surprised if there are dozens of stories buried in the agreement. Some of them may never be told because if the Conservatives are not the winners on October 19th, the whole thing may just vanish. Tom Mulcair says that would likely happen if he moves into 24 Sussex, but Justin Trudeau says he’ll at least wait until he reads it.
What happens if the Americans say NO to TPP ? Hillary Clinton is the frontrunner for the Democrats, and she’s given ‘thumbs down’ on it. So has ‘the Donald’ on the Republican side, and that’s a bit surprising since it was Bush 41’s team that produced NAFTA in the early 1990’s.
The prairie provinces in particular should be hugely in favour of big international trade deals with multiple partners. Trade is the life blood of this region, and TPP will be a news story for a long time – much longer than the aftermath of October 19th.
I’m Roger Currie