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Canada says to remain at TPP negotiations through election

LAVAL, Quebec - Canada will stick with Pacific Rim trade negotiations despite the country being in the middle of an election campaign, Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Monday.

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LAVAL, Quebec - Canada will stick with Pacific Rim trade negotiations despite the country being in the middle of an election campaign, Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Monday.

"It is important that Canada remain at the table. Canada will remain at the table during this election campaign," Harper told reporters, noting that a trade deal would set the fundamental trading network of the entire region.

Trade ministers from the 12 nations negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) failed on Friday to clinch a free-trade deal, and Harper was asked on Monday to comment on remarks by New ZealandPrime Minister John Key that member countries did not have the luxury of waiting until after the Oct. 19 Canadian election.

Canada is under pressure at the TPP talks to open up its heavily protected dairy sector, a concept that is sensitive especially in Quebec, which has about one-quarter of the seats in the Canadian House of Commons.

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