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It has been disclosed by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) that the United States and Canada have held a senior-level bilateral consultation on Canada’s interest in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.
The meeting was co-chaired by John Melle, Assistant USTR for the Western Hemisphere, and by Kirsten Hillman, Director General for Trade Negotiations at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, and was the latest in a series of official bilateral consultations with Canada following the announcement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in November 2011 expressing his country’s interest in joining the TPP, the extension of which is currently being negotiated under the leadership of the US.
In the meeting, Canadian and US officials reported on the domestic consultations each was undertaking regarding Canada’s interest in joining the TPP, as well as an update on Canada’s consultations with other TPP member countries. US officials provided an update on the status of the TPP negotiations.
The US also summarized issues raised by stakeholders in response to a recent official request for comment, which is one element of the US’s ongoing domestic consultation process to assess Canada’s expression of interest in the TPP. These stakeholder comments included a range of sector-specific issues including comprehensive market access for goods, investment, intellectual property rights, insurance and telecommunications.
It was said that the Canadian officials underscored their government’s readiness to engage with the US on a range of issues going forward, and both governments agreed to hold detailed meetings at the working level during the week of March 19 in Washington, D.C., as the consultative process continues.
It was also confirmed that the US is engaged in similar TPP consultative processes with Mexico and Japan.
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