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TPP states give mixed reactions

October 5, 2015

Member states of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have responded to the newly-reached agreement. The accord, which will set standards for 12 nations, will be the biggest trade liberalization pact in a generation.

Symbolbild Exports
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/Ch. Charisius

If approved by national lawmakers, the TPP deal would affect 40 percent of the world economy and has the potential to reshape several industries. It would influence everything from the price of cheese to the cost of cancer treatment in the 12 member nations.

US President Barack Obama welcomed the deal on Monday, saying it would "level the playing field" for American workers and businesses.

Democratic US Senator Ron Wyden, the ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee, said, however, that the TTP deal must first undergo a detailed review by Congress to see "whether it will advance the nation's interests."

"As I have said in the past, a good Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement could present important new opportunities for Oregon workers, farmers and manufacturers, and raise the bar for labor rights and environmental protections overseas," Wyden said in a statement.

Japan echoed President Obama's positive sentiments, however. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe described the pact as "a major outcome not just for Japan, but also for the future of the Asia-Pacific."

'Limited access' for Canada's dairy industry

Negotiations over the complex TPP accord have been met with much controversy over the past five years, with an array of interest groups - from Mexican carmakers to Canadian dairy farmers - deeming the deal a threat.

Canada said on Monday that the deal offered only limited access to the dairy market. According to officials, the accord would offer up just 3.25 percent of the Canadian dairy market and around 2 percent of the poultry market over a five-year period.

"Despite significant and broad demands from several of our TPP negotiating partners, Canada has only offered limited new access for supply-managed products," the Canadian government said in a statement.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper insisted, however, that the TPP deal is "without any doubt whatsoever ... in the best interests of Canada."

The issues surrounding the deal remain a sensitive issue for Canada ahead of their general election on October 19. While the ruling Conservatives are relying heavily on the rural vote, their main opposition, the New Democrats, say if they form the next government, they will not feel bound by the terms of the newly-agreed deal.

ksb/se (AFP, Reuters)