The Trans-Pacific Partnership, Part I: A deal too far

By Howard Mann, Published by IISD, February 2016

With the release of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), a debate has been growing over the so-called “trade” agreement among twelve Pacific Rim countries. Should governments ratify the deal? Will it expand trade in a significant way? Who will be the winners and losers? But defining winners and losers only in trade terms misses the much broader impacts of the TPP. In effect, it ignores the fact that the TPP’s non-trade provisions, such as in the areas of investment and intellectual proper rights, threaten to exacerbate inequality. The author argues that Canada should reject the agreement and use it as a jumping-off point to lead a new global dialogue on the right directions for trade agreements. The commentary also focuses on how trade agreements should and can be instruments to support, rather than impede, achieving the globally adopted Sustainable Development Goals. Available at