Logo_Placeholder_BlueSimon Tucker says the Trans-Pacific Partnership will throw Canada’s markets open to some of the world’s fastest-developing economies

OTTAWA, Nov. 9, 2015 – The recently agreed-to Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is a “big opportunity” that Canada would be foolish to pass on.

So says Simon Tucker, New Zealand High Commissioner to Canada, in a new Straight Talk Q&A with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute.

“Canada is an economy that faces the world”, says Tucker. “I think what TPP has done, is it has hardwired Canada into the definitive piece of trade policy architecture in the Asia-Pacific region. And of course the Asia-Pacific region is the place of true economic dynamism in the world economy at the moment”.

To read the full Straight Talk Q&A, click here.

Tucker points out that with 12 partners including two of the world’s three largest economies, the US and Japan, the TPP is the biggest trade agreement the world has seen in 25 years. In a wide-ranging interview, he explains the origins of the agreement, some of the difficulties that extended trade talks, why he has high hopes for ratification, and what he sees on the horizon for the Pacific trade agenda.

Before becoming High Commissioner, Tucker spent years working in the New Zealand dairy industry, so he has a particular insight into issues surrounding Canadian protectionism in that sector. He says that while there was pain when his country moved past the market protections and subsidies of the 1970s and 1980s, since then productivity in agriculture has outstripped the rest of the economy. Now New Zealand farmers “wouldn’t have it any other way.”

The Asia-Pacific region is the place of true economic dynamism in the world economy at the moment

He recounts that “I think in New Zealand, we always had a sense that talking about dairy market access would be the last issue to be resolved and at 5 o’clock on the last morning of the negotiation, sure enough, New Zealand was talking about dairy market access, so there you go.”

Tucker says the New Zealand High Commission travelled to 10 provinces and two territories, meeting with a “wide range” of Canadians talking TPP and found the feedback very positive. He says New Zealand will continue to lead the charge for freer global trade: “I think New Zealand’s position in these things is, we are happy to go to zero tariffs and other market barriers with any country, any time."

To read the full Straight Talk Q&A, click here.

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Simon Tucker was appointed New Zealand High Commissioner to Canada in February 2013. Prior to taking up his appointment in Ottawa, Tucker spent ten years in the New Zealand dairy industry.

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