More good news

CBC News reports that despite the fact that “U.S. President Donald Trump tried to kill itthe Trans-Pacific Partnership wouldn’t stay dead … [because] … Less than two years after the U.S. withdrew from the landmark Pacific Rim trade deal it once saw as key to an Asian trade strategy, six of the remaining countries have ratified it, enough to bring the revised Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) into force 60 days from now on Dec 30 … [because, again] … Australia became the sixth country to do so Wednesday, filing its official notice with New Zealand, the country that’s acting as the depository and keeping track of its implementation … [and David Parker, New Zealand’s minister of Trade and Export Growth, told reporters that] … “The signal that it sends to the rest of the world that there’s a new rules-based order out there in the world that people can buy into if they want as an incredibly powerful signal at this particular time.”

The report says that “Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore ratified earlier this year …[and] … Canada was the fifth country to ratify, filing its notice last weekend after Parliament approved its implementing legislation.” Additionally “The remaining signatories — Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Peru and Vietnam — will not benefit or be bound by the deal’s measures until they finish their ratification processes. Some want to participate soon, however: Vietnam is expected to ratify next, in November … [and] … Peru’sdeputy trade minister Edgar Vasquez told Reuters he expects Lima will ratify the agreement before 2019 … [but] … Malaysia’s  [just recently elected] Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said he was still weighing its benefits.

This is good news for Canada and the world because it means that despite Donald J Trump there is a still an impetus for free(er) trade amongst fair minded nations and free(er) trade always benefits more people that it punishes. But we must bear in mind what former Prime Minister Stephen Harper says in his new book, ‘Right Here, Right Now:’  while free(er) trade is always broadly beneficial there are, also always, some losers and, over the past few decades those ‘losers’ have been disproportionately found in the advanced economies of America, Britain, Canada, Denmark and so on. Not all Canadians will be happy with this deal and the Conservative Party needs to understand the fears and hopes of the group called the precariat which I have discussed on more than one occasion.

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