OTTAWA — The federal government has confirmed that it intends to sign the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal at a meeting next week in New Zealand.But when it comes to ratification of the 12-country treaty, the Liberals are still perched squarely atop the fence.“Just as it is too soon to endorse the TPP, it is also too soon to close the door,” International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland wrote Monday in an open letter posted on her department’s website.“Signing does not equal ratifying…. Signing is simply a technical step in the process, allowing the TPP text to be tabled in Parliament for consideration and debate before any final decision is made.”Only a majority vote in the House of Commons would ensure that Canada seals the deal, she added. She has also requested a thorough, transparent study of the agreement by parliamentary committee.In recent weeks, Freeland has conducted public consultations on the wide-ranging accord, which — if ratified — would also set new international rules for sectors beyond trade. Those other areas include intellectual property, which worries some experts.“It is clear that many feel the TPP presents significant opportunities, while others have concerns,” Freeland wrote.“Many Canadians still have not made up their minds and many more still have questions.”‘Real coup’ for Canadian wineries buried in TPP deal will combat ice wine counterfeits overseas$4.3 billion TPP compensation for Canada’s dairy industry is not a done deal: Trade Minister Chrystia FreelandThe minister has already indicated the massive accord, which includes major economies such as the United States and Japan, cannot be renegotiated.Freeland said each country has up to two years to consider ratification before making a final decision. She pointed out that by signing the deal Canada will keep its status as a potential full partner in the agreement.Trade ministers from the TPP’s partner countries have been invited to sign the deal on Feb. 4 in Auckland.The former Conservative government announced an agreement-in-principle on the pact in October during the federal election campaign.At the time, then-prime minister Stephen Harper hailed the TPP as a deal that would give Canada access to a massive market of nearly 800 million people.Harper warned Canada couldn’t afford to pass up on the agreement, a deal that came under heavy criticism in part because the talks took place in secrecy.The treaty can take effect if it’s ratified by half the participating countries representing 85 per cent of the proposed trade zone’s economy.It remains unclear, however, whether U.S. lawmakers will ratify the accord.On Monday, Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose urged the government to support the TPP to help Canada’s limping economy.“Right now when Western Canada is hurting… the Trans-Pacific Partnership offers huge opportunities, particularly in the business services sector and the agricultural sector,” Ambrose said in Ottawa.In a recent interview with The Canadian Press, Freeland recalled hearing people on both sides of the TPP debate express their views during her cross-Canada consultations.For example, she said she heard from groups representing farmers in Alberta and the Port of Vancouver that were very strongly in favour of TPP, a deal that would open up new foreign markets for many Canadian firms.On the other hand, Freeland also heard concerns from Canadian and U.S. academics at a recent event at the University of Toronto. Several trade experts who addressed the conference criticized the TPP’s provisions on intellectual property and warned they would be harmful for Canada.Freeland has said Canada must remain deeply connected to the global economy, particularly since the country boasts just the 11th-biggest economy in the world.“We are strongly in favour of free trade,” she said in the interview. “Having said that, we’re not the government that negotiated the TPP.”
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related KKR 169 for 7 (Karthik 52, Russell 49*, Gowtham 2-15) beat Rajasthan Royals 144 for 4 (Samson 50, Rahane 46, Chawla 2-24) by 25 runs(ESPNcricinfo) -Rajasthan Royals got the best of the conditions but made a complete mess of a chase that seemed to be under control. Chasing 170, they seemed to be cruising at 87 for 1 in 10 overs, but then they – particularly captain Ajinkya Rahane – got stuck against spin and left their weak middle order too much to do. In 96 unsuccessful IPL chases of targets of 170 or lower, only once has a side lost with more wickets in hand than Royals had in this Eliminator: six. Those wickets in hand proved to be no good as Rahane watched the asking rate grow from overs 10 to 15.Whether Rahane’s innings was dictated by the weak batting line-up that followed, only Rahane can tell. Kolkata Knight Riders, who will now face Sunrisers Hyderabad in Qualifier 2, had no such dilemma even though they got off to a poor start in sticky conditions. Even after being 24 for 3 they – led by captain Dinesh Karthik – attacked the sixth over of the Powerplay; even after they were reduced to 51 for 4 they batted with enterprise; and, when Andre Russell came in with 34 balls to go you knew the bowlers were in for a world of pain.The crucial tossWith early starts – 7pm – for the playoffs, the dew that comes down later has become a more of a factor, but on the night the team bowling first had another advantage: the pitch, for the early stages, retained some moisture from overnight rain. Royals’ spinners made the most of it with turn and sticky bounce. K Gowtham, the hope for fingerspinners this season, took out Sunil Narine and Robin Uthappa. Legspinner Shreyas Gopal accounted for Chris Lynn, and Nitsh Rana’s short-ball problems continued. Loosing their fourth wicket in the eight over, KKR needed a bit of a partnership – only long enough to make sure Russell didn’t have to play a long innings.Karthik and Gill rescue KKRAbout 30-40 minutes into the match, the pitch began to ease out, at least in terms of variable pace off the surface, and Karthik and Shubhman Gill batted with purpose. They scored 31 in the next five overs without taking a risk, and once Gopal made a mistake they both pounced on him, taking 20 off the 14th over.Russell demolishes RoyalsRussell has taken the art of six-hitting to another level. No matter what length you bowl, no matter if you beat him the change of pace, he always sets himself up for a baseball-style hit down the ground and backs himself to clear the field. Twice in his onslaught Russell was done in. First a quick bouncer from Ben Laughlin had him playing without even looking at the ball, but he swung with all his might and the top edge flew for a comfortable six. Joffra Archer then had him playing a slower bouncer too early but he didn’t bother, he just flat-batted it over long-off for another six. Russell’s 49 off 25 gave Knight Riders what looked like a par total.Easier conditions, better startWhen Rahul Tripathi and Rahane came out to bat, the ball began to skid through nicely, making it easier for them to time their strokes. Tripathi slogged Sunil Narine for two sixes in his first over, and Rahane looked comfortable against the quicks. While Piyush Chawla had Tripathi in the sixth over, 51 for 1 was a good Powerplay score when chasing 170.Rahane gets stuckRahane came into the match with a negative Smart Strike Rate, which – as per ESPNcricinfo’s new metrics to make sense of T20 numbers – meant his aggregate of 324 was actually worth 40 fewer runs. He was without Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes. This was a weird position for him to be in. Should he play the normal T20 game, which is not his best bet, especially when the bowling is slow? Or should he take all the responsibility and look to bat deep? Rahane chose the latter, and even as Sanju Samson batted more fluently at the other end, Rahane just couldn’t get out of the quick sand.He was 28 off 20 at the end of the Powerplay. He faced 21 more balls for just 18 runs. He faced 20 balls of pace and 21 of spin, scoring 31 and 15 off them. He failed to pick the wrong ‘uns, especially the ones bowled by left-arm wristspinner Kuldeep Yadav, against whom he has batted a lot in the India nets. By the time his innings came to an end, Royals were looking at more than 10 an over. In a line-up in which Stuart Binny bats at No. 5, it was unlikely to happen. It didn’t.