Ottawa (Canadian Press) – The federal government says it will sign the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal at a meeting next week in New Zealand.

International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland says signing the 12-country treaty doesn’t necessarily mean Canada will ultimately ratify it, however.

Freeland has conducted public consultations on the wide-ranging accord and says she’s heard both opposition and support for the deal.

She also says the Liberal government is committed to hearing from Canadians before a ratification vote is held in Parliament.

Freeland has indicated the massive accord, which includes major economies such as the United States and Japan, cannot be renegotiated.

Trade ministers from the TPP’s partner countries have been invited to sign the deal on Feb. 4 in Auckland.

The former Conservative government announced an agreement-in-principle on the pact in October during the federal election campaign.

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