Canada wants to speed up the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact to offset the adverse effects of the trade spat erupting with the United States, International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said today. Champagne told lawmakers that ratifying the TPP, which was signed in March without the United States and would link Canada with 10 other nations on both sides of the Pacific, was a “top priority” for the government in Ottawa. The TPP would take effect 60 days after its ratification by six of the 11 countries involved — Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
“We’re going to move quickly to introduce legislation before the house rises this summer,” said Champagne. Trump has confirmed that the US would be imposing tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum and threatened a similar move against Canada’s automotive sector. He also refused to sign a joint statement endorsing global trade rules at the Group of Seven summit and accused Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of dishonesty.