Canada joins Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations

The number of countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement has been increased to 10

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA/TPP) is casting its net further afield, with Canada joining the discussion table over the controversial agreement.

Canada joins nine other member countries currently negotiating the agreement, including Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Vietnam.

Mexico has also been invited to join negotiations.

FAQ: What is the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA/TPP)?

While the agreement aims to open up trade between member countries, it has incited riots and protests around the world, with criticism targeted at the secrecy with which talks are being conducted. To date, no official texts on the agreement have been made public, with only draft copies leaked to the public.

However, the agreement is expected to cover temporary digital copies, such as internet caches and RAM in computers and presume guilt in copyright infringement claims, according to Electronic Frontiers Australia.

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has frequently voiced concerns over the secrecy of the text, while the Pirate Party has also publicly stated more transparency is needed over what is being discussed.

A 90-day consultation period will be carried out in which the US will negotiate objectives with respect to Canada. Public comment on the inclusion of Canada in the TPPA negotiations will also be sought.

Twelve rounds of negotiations have now been held with member countries, with the next round scheduled for 2-10 July in San Diego, California.

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