No one was happier about the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement than the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA).
The improved access alone promised in the agreement could double or even triple exports of Canadian beef to Japan, which amounted to $103 million in 2014.
“This is really fantastic news for Canada’s beef producers,” says CCA president Dave Solverson. “Canada’s beef producers have long needed to have equal access to these important markets in order to compete with Australian and U.S. beef. Now, through this agreement, Canada will receive the same preferential access to these markets as its competitors, levelling the playing field for Canadian beef producers once and for all.”
The TPP is said to be the world’s biggest trade agreement involving Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the U.S. and Vietnam with 800 million citizens in total and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of $28.5 trillion, representing 40 per cent of the world’s economy.
Solverson called the agreement a game changer for Canada’s beef industry — and Canadian agriculture as a whole.
Canada already has duty-free access for beef with many of these countries, including the U.S. and Mexico, and now the TPP will gradually reduce a 38.5 per cent tariff on Canadian beef in Japan down to nine per cent in 15 years, including an immediate cut to 27.5 per cent on Day 1 of the agreement coming into force that will restore our competitive position with Australian beef.
The agreement also eliminates beef tariffs in Vietnam and Malaysia, two countries that have not traditionally been significant beef consumers, but have been identified as potentially important markets in the future as their level of economic development increases. The TPP also addresses the exclusion of some beef access from previous agreements with Peru and Chile.
Above all, the CCA says this agreement secures Canada as one of the founding members of the TPP which gives Ottawa a say over the terms of entry for other countries that may wish to join the TPP in future. Korea and Taiwan have indicated they wish to join and the CCA will be lobbying for the removal of all remaining barriers to Canadian beef as part of their entry requirements.