Trudeau Intends on Signing the TPP – Obama

The media has often portrayed the Liberals as a party still looking over the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) with no commitment. This in spite of signs that the Liberals have every intention of signing off on the agreement. In a press conference last week, US president Barack Obama made the Liberal position clearer by saying that the deal is a done deal as far as Canada and the US is concerned.

Major Canadian media outlets have long said that Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not committed on which way he intends on going with the TPP. This all of this in spite of Trudeau saying that he intends on promoting the TPP while speaking to other world leaders, the party saying they are making no promises to change anything in the TPP, and the agriculture minister announcing his support for the agreement. Signs have pointed to the Liberals supporting the TPP even during the last election which ended in a Liberal majority.

Now, more recently, Obama has made the Liberal position much clearer in saying that the TPP is a done deal as far as Canada and the US is concerned. These reports surfaced last week. What may be an eyebrow raiser amongst some observers is not the fact that Trudeau and the Liberals have always intended on supporting and signing off on the TPP, but the fact that even with Obama spelling out the Liberals position, the media us still playing along with the talking point that no decision has been made. From the Globe and Mail:

The federal Liberal government has said that it is pro-trade but that any final decision will depend on the outcome of parliamentary hearings.

From the National Post:

Speaking later Thursday at a media briefing, Trudeau repeated that Canada has not yet decided whether to sign the pact and it must first be reviewed in parliament.

“Canada is resolutely pro trade, we understand how important trade is for economic growth,” he said. “That is the lens through which we will examine the TPP.”

So, from the sounds of things, the media is simply taking Trudeau and the Liberals at their word without question in spite of all the evidence and Obama spelling out the Canadian governments position.

This could be a political play by both the Liberals and major Canadian media outlets. As long as there is the image of an ambiguous position for the time being, that may delay debate. As long as debate is delayed, that could shorten the window that any formal debate would occur. In other words, the Liberals may be taking a page out of the Conservative government’s political strategy. Wait until a bill will be written and say that it’s premature to talk about the details. Then, finally, when a bill is introduced, say the debate is over and a decision is made and that debate is over. That is one possibility that could be at play here.

Since these reports surfaced, the media has quieted down significantly in their reporting of this agreement. Their are occasional editorials on the subject, but that’s the extent of the coverage for now. For our part, we are continuing out examination of this agreement and will bring you what we find.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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