WASHINGTON – Canada became the 11th country invited to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations (TPP). Mexico received an invitation June 18.

The next negotiating round of the TPP is scheduled for July 2-10 in San Diego, Calif. For the United States, the talks represent an opportunity to broaden exports to nations of the Asia-Pacific, which are growing markets for US services, manufactured goods, and agricultural products. The TPP represents a market of 510 million people and a GDP of $17.6 trillion, according to a press release from the Canadian Prime Minister’s office. With the participation of Canada and Mexico the market will expand to 658 million people and a GDP of $20.5 trillion. Current TPP countries are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the US.

“Opening new markets and creating new business opportunities leads to jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for all Canadians,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “A TPP agreement will enhance trade in the Asia-Pacific region and will provide greater economic opportunity for Canadians and Canadian businesses.”

Bob McCan, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association vice president, expressed NCBA’s support for Canada’s inclusion in the talks.

“Our strong trade relationship with our neighbors to the North has been a win-win for cattlemen and consumers in both countries and Canada’s entry into TPP negotiations will only strengthen our trade relationship,” McCan said. “Their participation in TPP is absolutely vital to creating a trade environment free from protectionist trade barriers.

“With American allies like Canada and Mexico at the table, TPP will strengthen bonds between nations and encourage global security in the Pacific Rim,” he added.

"Mexico understands that the countries negotiating the TPP agreement have set high standards and objectives, and that the United States intends to join TPP partners in completing a comprehensive, high-standard agreement that will include important new commitments on science-based and transparent sanitary and phytosanitary measures," US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said of Mexico’s inclusion in the talks. "For decades, two-way agricultural trade between Mexico and the United States has supported American communities by creating good-paying jobs here in the United States.

"Mexico's participation in TPP will allow US agriculture to leverage existing supply chains, adding to the economic significance of a TPP agreement and ensuring that American agriculture remains a bright spot in our nation's economy," he said.