Is the TPP the key to Canada’s economic future?

canada_economyThe Trans-Pacific Partnership might be the most talked about item in the news right now, despite few clear details about it, because the full text hasn’t been released to the public prior to the election.

The partnership — which sees a free trade agreement between 12 countries — was announced October 5 by the Conservatives, who say it will be great for Canada. However, critics and industry pundits were quick to criticize the lack of details and clear answers about the deal from government representatives.

The deal was hammered home and quickly became the crown jewel in Stephen Harper’s re-election campaign focused on the economy. It could be a brilliant move so close to Election Day, or a nail in the coffin for Harper’s political future.

What are the benefits of the deal? According to the government’s own website, “The TPP will help deepen Canada’s trade ties in the dynamic and fast-growing Asia-Pacific region while strengthening our existing economic partnerships with our partners in the NAFTA and across the Americas.” In short, the deal means dropped export tariffs, theoretically boosting opportunities in a number of sectors for Canadian businesses.

According to an article from the Globe and Mail, businesses for the most part are applauding the deal — keeping in mind all the details are not clear yet.

The federal New Democratic Party has already said it wouldn’t be bound by any TPP agreements if in power.

It will be interesting post-election to see how the agreement plays out. There are also reportedly divides in the participating countries due to the wording of the agreement, so it could be some time before the final draft can be reviewed by all stakeholders.

Meanwhile, although the United States is strongly behind the TPP, U.S. Democrat and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has apparently denounced the deal, and so has presidential nomination candidate Senator Bernie Sanders, who claims the TPP is stacked in favour of corporations and not the average working citizen. And not all Republicans are keen on the deal either.

Time will tell if this deal will right the ship for Canada, and whether it will mean more domestic jobs or losing companies to foreign labour. This much is true, though: Canada had to make a move. Whether it was the right one will reveal itself soon enough.