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U.S., Canada Hold High-Level Consultation on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Washington, D.C. – Today, the United States and Canada held a senior-level bilateral consultation on Canada’s interest in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. The meeting was co-chaired by John Melle, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for the Western Hemisphere, and by Kirsten Hillman, Director General for Trade Negotiations at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. Today’s meeting was the latest in a series of official bilateral consultations with Canada following the November 2011 announcement by Prime Minister Harper expressing Canada’s interest in joining the TPP negotiations.

In the meeting, Canadian and U.S. 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. U.S. officials provided an update on the status of the TPP negotiations. U.S. officials also summarized issues raised by stakeholders in response to a recent Federal Register request for comment, which is one element of the United States’ 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, among others, in addition to cross-sectoral issues such as regulatory cooperation. Canadian officials underscored the Canadian Government’s readiness to engage with the United States on a range of issues going forward.

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.

The United States is engaging in similar TPP consultative processes with Mexico and Japan.