It was learned on Nov. 14 that the 11 participating nations in the TPP are making arrangements to “freeze” the implementation of provisions in the new TPP accord, on which they have reached a basic agreement, on three of the four issues they have yet to reach a consensus on. Therefore, the key issue in the final agreement will now be Canada’s demand for “exemptions for its preferential treatment of domestic companies for the protection of culture.”
This was revealed by a source close to the negotiations. The ministerial statement released on Nov. 11 cited four items that the 11 TPP members need to agree on before signing a final agreement.
In addition to Canada’s demand, the other three items are: 1) treatment of state-owned enterprises (Malaysia); 2) rules on services and investment in the coal industry (Brunei); and 3) labor dispute settlement (Vietnam).
Working level talks are taking place at present for these three items to be added to the 20 items that the TPP nations have decided to freeze.