Graphic showing the 12 economies of the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Ottawa - AFP
Canada's Liberal government said Monday it will sign the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership but may not ratify the trade pact negotiated by a previous administration.
The agreement is expected to be debated in parliament. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberals wield a majority in the House but have not staked out a position publicly on the deal.
Following consultations with various Canadian stakeholders, Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland said: "It is clear that many feel the TPP presents significant opportunities, while others have concerns.
"Many Canadians still have not made up their minds and many more still have questions," she added.
Regardless, Freeland said, Canada will sign the deal at a meeting next week of the 12 partner countries in the Pacific trade pact.
"Not attending would mean withdrawing from the TPP altogether, even before Canadians have had an opportunity to fully debate its implications," she explained. "Just as it is too soon to endorse the TPP, it is also too soon to close the door."
Once the deal has been signed, Canada would have up to two years to ratify the TPP.