Canada Ratifies the CPTPP – Is Australia Next ?

October 29, 2018

On October 29th, Canada formally ratified the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) by providing written notice to the CPTPP Depository in New Zealand that Canada’s internal legal procedures to implement the Agreement are complete. (see e.g., Global Affairs Canada, “Statement by Minister Carr on Canada’s Ratification of Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership”)

Although Canada has not yet made the regulatory changes necessary to fully implement the CPTPP, there will be sufficient time to complete this process before the Agreement enters into force. The legal authority to modify the federal regulatory framework in relation to Canada’s CPTPP obligations was established on October 25th, when the CPTPP Implementation Act (Bill C-79) was granted royal assent. In the near future, we can expect that proposed regulatory changes  —  including both the creation of new regulations and the amendment of existing regulations —  will be published in the Canada Gazette – Part I for a period of public review and comment. (For comparison, the period for public review of the regulatory changes necessary to implement the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was only 15 days.)

In the meantime, only one more formal ratification is required to trigger Article 3 of the CPTPP, which provides that the Agreement shall enter into force 60 days after at least six of the eleven signatories have ratified it. Like Canada, Australia has recently passed its domestic legislation to implement the CPTPP, and it could formally ratify the Agreement within days. If and when it does, the 60-day countdown will begin.

Tereposky & DeRose LLP regularly provides advice on the interpretation, implementation, and application of the provisions of international trade agreements, including the CPTPP, the CETA, the NAFTA, and the forthcoming USMCA.  Should you have any questions regarding potential opportunities under these trade agreements or any other trade related issues, we are at your disposal.


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