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Why the TPP is such a big—and good—deal for Canada

Yes, there will be costs. But on average, we can expect TPP trade liberalization to deliver higher productivity, higher GDP, and higher incomes to Canadians

The TPP will lower tariffs as well as lower non-tariff technical barriers almost across the board. There are far (far) too many changes to list. There are roughly 18,000 tariff lines in the United States that will change for TPP countries. Canada has even more, with about 19,500 tariff lines. (A user-friendly download facility through the WTO is available here.) In time, almost all tariffs on goods and services going in and out of these 12 countries will fall to zero.

Consumers are the big winners here. All too often we focus on lower tariffs for Canadian producers when they export abroad. But we must not forget that lower import tariffs mean lower prices for all of us on the goods and services that we buy. Lower prices means our incomes can go further and our standards of living increase.

How large are the tariff changes likely to be? There is huge variation across products, but in the graph below I plot the simple average tariff rates for TPP countries that we don’t already have a trade agreement with.

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