Negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership in New York last week and Ministerial discussions in Davos have gone well. It seems that a deal maybe achievable on TPP within the next two to three months. Japan may no longer be the sticking point. There are serious questions being asked about Canada’s ability to agree to substantial liberalisation in areas such as dairy.
The FTA with the Gulf Cooperation Council remains in limbo. Supposedly technical meetings between lawyers from the two sides to legally scrub the text of the agreement keep being delayed. The Government remains hopeful that this agreement can be signed by the time of a visit to the region by senior politicians in April/May, but time is beginning to run out.
The Government remains keen to begin negotiations with either the Pacific Alliance or Colombia. There seems to be ongoing activity exploring the possibility of a negotiation with Turkey. And industry pressure for FTAs with Bangladesh and possibly Sri Lanka is mounting. Watch this space.