REPLAY: What is the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

Michael Geist, the University of Ottawa’s e-commerce law expert, untangles the mystery behind the potentially massive free trade agreement

Sean Kilpatrick/CP

The governing Conservatives like to talk about free trade. They like to negotiate free-trade agreements with countries all over the world, and the federal government is currently talking a big game all over the world. They’re attempting deals with Europeans and Indians, and they’re also talking to a broad group of nations comprising what’s known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The TPP grew out of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement, which originally removed trade barriers between four countries on three continents: Brunei, New Zealand, Chile and Singapore. That was in 2005.

These days, a whole host of Pacific Rim countries—13 in total—are part of wide-ranging negotiations to liberalize trade between every member nation. Canada is among the negotiators, having come to the table almost a year ago. According to the government’s calculations, the total population represented by the negotiating nations is 792 million, and the combined economies represent a GDP of $27.5 trillion. These are not small potatoes.

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression hopes to “decode” the TPP, and the organization has invited the University of Ottawa’s Michael Geist, the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce Law, to share his insight. Maclean’s Jesse Brown will moderate the discussion, which gets underway on Sept. 10 at 3 p.m. You can watch it here.

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