Federal Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr was in Saskatoon last week for the federal Liberal caucus meeting. Carr and Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, took the opportunity to address the Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce in what was billed as a ‘fireside chat’.

The discussion focussed mostly on the programs available to help businesses expand their reach into other parts of the world, but there was a significant announcement on the the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, (CPTPP). In the media availablily that followed (listen below) we were able to ask for more details.

Carr had this to say about CPTPP ratification: “It’ll be among the first pieces of legislation that we’ll be debating in this session, so that’s a signal from the government that we place a great deal of importance and priority on this agreement.”

He added he understands the importance of having six countries complete ratification. “Yes, I know that the first six nations is what is required for ratification. We’ll work diligently to move as quickly as we can.”

When asked about full implementation of the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement  (CETA) with the European Union Carr responded, “There are timelines and then there is reality, and so we’re faced with the reality. And what motivates us is to move as quickly as we can, always putting forward what we believe to be in Canada’s interests. There are specific examples of where we have been very successful, and sometimes it takes more time than we would like, but that does not make us any less rigorous or aggressive in pursuing Canada’s interests.

RealAgriculture’s Sask. field editor, Dale Leftwich, interviews trade minister Jim Carr in the audio below.

On Monday, Carr will open the second reading of Bill C-49 in the House of Commons. The Bill was introduced to the house back in June of this year.

The agreement will enter into force once six member countries have completed their ratification procedures.

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