Opinion: Judging the TPP

What we do know is that the TPP will have tremendous impact on the Canadian economy – particularly here in Chilliwack.

So what do Thomas Mulcair and Donald Trump have in common?

Both rejected the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal before it was released.

To be fair, trade deals traditionally have a polarizing effect on people. So it’s not that surprising that the leader of the Canadian New Democratic Party and the bombastic presidential hopeful found reasons to hate the historic agreement.

What is disappointing is that they hated it so quickly.

The trade deal agreed to on Sunday had an eight-year gestation. It involves 12 Pacific Rim countries that comprise 40 per cent of the world economy.

Specific details have yet to be released. But what we do know is that the TPP will have tremendous impact on the Canadian economy – particularly here in Chilliwack.

The goal of the agreement is to ease trade restrictions between the participating countries, enhancing the movement of goods, and opening new markets that had previously been closed.

Canada, as an exporting nation, benefits when trade restrictions are removed.

However, there is a cost. And that is what worried dairy farmers and poultry producers here.

Both sectors are highly regulated under Canada’s supply management program. The program provides stability in an industry that might otherwise fall victim to the vagaries of an unrestricted free market. Countries wanting access to our market have traditionally cited our supply management system as an unfair impediment to trade.

Early rumours suggested supply management might be one a sacrifice Canada would have to make to join the TPP.

Fortunately, that does not seem to be the case. There will be some market share lost, says the BC Dairy Association. But the organization acknowledges it could have been mush worse – a sentiment echoed by the Dairy Farmers of Canada.

Still, there remains much to be learned about the trade deal. And Canadians will have the opportunity for that review. It must be ratified here and in the 11 other participating nations before it comes into effect.

All we can hope is that political leaders take the time to read the thing before pronouncing a verdict.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Google Maps screenshot taken at 7:06 a.m.
Early morning crash on Highway 1 has morning commuters in gridlock

Westbound crash occurred in Langley, west of 264th Street; left lane blocked

Stephanie Higginson, president of the B.C. School Trustees Association, says people need to focus their attention on the upcoming byelection in Chilliwack. (BCSTA image)
‘Let’s not talk about Barry’ says BCSTA president on Chilliwack trustee

Higginson says impending Chilliwack byelection will require ‘laser focus’ to ensure balance of power

New Chilliwack Chief Ray Fust.
Chilliwack Chief Ray Fust in the mix for Swiss U20 roster spot

Fust is hoping to make the team that will compete in the World Junior Hockey Championships

An employee at a Chilliwack McDonald’s location tested positive for COVID on Nov. 21 (File photo by The Associated Press)
Employee tests positive for COVID-19 at McDonald’s restaurant in Chilliwack

One case was detected at the Vedder Road location, which briefly closed its doors

Asbestos bag from 2011. (Chilliwack Progress file)
New limits coming for asbestos at the Bailey Landfill in Chilliwack

Restricted to 20 bags per day per property because they don’t have capacity for larger loads

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

7-year-old Mackenzie Hodge from Penticton sent a hand-written letter to premiere John Horgan asking if she’d be able to see her elf, Ralph under the new coronavirus restrictions. (John Horgan / Twitter)
Elf on the shelf an acceptable house guest, B.C. premier tells Penticton girl

A 7-year-old from Penticton penned a letter asking if she’d be allowed to see her elf this year

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Most Read