OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Canada's new Liberal government says it will sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal at a meeting next week in New Zealand.
International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland said Monday signing the 12-country treaty doesn't necessarily mean Canada will ultimately ratify it, however.
Freeland says the government is committed to hearing from Canadians before a ratification vote is held in Parliament. Canada's former Conservative government announced an agreement-in-principle on the pact in October during the election campaign.
Freeland has indicated the sweeping deal, which includes major economies such as the United States and Japan, cannot be renegotiated.
Trade ministers from the TPP's countries have been invited to sign the deal on Feb. 4 in Auckland.
Freeland says each country has up to two years to consider ratification before making a final decision.