Canada joins Trans-Pacific Partnership trade bloc
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, October 9, 2012 4:29PM EDT
OTTAWA - Ottawa is announcing it has formally joined the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks and will be at the table for the next full round in December.
The invitation to join the club of 11 Pacific nations was first announced in July, but all governments needed to ratify the inclusion.
The U.S. completed its 90-day Congressional consultation on Monday, the last hurdle in the process.
Canada, along with Mexico, is a Johnny-come-lately to the talks, and is expected to adopt decisions already reached by the other members -- Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.
Heritage Minister James Moore, who made the announcement, called the TPP an important step in the government's goal to expand Canada's presence in the fast-emerging Asian economies.
The TPP market encompasses more than 658 million people and has a combined gross domestic product of about $20.5 trillion, larger than that of the U.S. and Europe.