the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Joint Statement by the United States and Canada

President Obama and Prime Minister Harper today welcomed the announcement by the nine Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries to incorporate Canada into the TPP negotiations.  The current TPP countries are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.

The TPP countries are seeking to conclude a high-ambition, next-generation regional agreement that liberalizes trade and investment and addresses new and traditional trade issues and 21st-century challenges.  As longstanding proponents of enhancing trade and economic relations with countries around the Asia Pacific, the United States and Canada share a common goal of concluding the TPP agreement expeditiously, which will promote innovation, support the creation and retention of jobs in our economies and contribute to the growth of our highly integrated  economies.

The United States and Canada have the largest single market bilateral trading relationship in the world.  Canada is the top export destination for U.S. goods ($280.9 billion in 2011) and services ($56 billion in 2011) and is the top export destination for 35 U.S. states.  At the U.S.-Canada border, nearly $1 million in goods and services cross every minute.  Every day 300,000 people cross for business, tourism, or to maintain family ties.  The United States and Canada welcome the TPP as an opportunity to further build upon this already dynamic trading relationship and create new opportunities for our businesses, consumers, farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers across the Asia-Pacific region.

The United States and Canada have been partners in free trade since 1988, and the secure and predictable access to each other's markets has supported thousands of jobs and business relationships over many decades.  Together we negotiated and have signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.  Earlier this year, the United States and Canada agreed to take new steps to further deepen our economic relationship through important initiatives like the Action Plan on Perimeter Security and Economic Competiveness and the Joint Action Plan on Regulatory Cooperation.  In 2010, we negotiated a bilateral government procurement agreement marking an important expansion of reciprocal access to our procurement markets below the federal level.

The TPP presents an opportunity to conclude a high standard agreement that will build on the commitments of NAFTA.