Canadian agri-food exporters applaud success Comprehensive Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement

Canadian agri-food exporters applaud success of Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement

The Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA) today welcomed the news that Canada has reached an agreement to conclude the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The Government of Canada has confirmed that two days of negotiations in Tokyo have resulted in an agreement and it will be signed in March.

“This is fantastic news,” says CAFTA President Brian Innes. “The future for Canada’s globally competitive agri-food exporters looks a lot brighter now that we will have competitive access to key markets in the Asia-Pacific and especially Japan.”

Japan is Canada’s third largest export market for agri-food, accounting for $4 billion in 2016 and has remained a strong advocate for the agreement. The CPTPP will not only provide the sector with unprecedented access to the high-value Japanese market and rapidly growing markets like Vietnam and Malaysia, it will also provide Canada with a competitive advantage over the U.S., since that country is not part of the agreement.

“This is an historic moment for the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who depend on agri-food exports,” said CAFTA president Brian Innes. “Whether you are a farm family who depends on world markets, a processor, an exporter, or someone who lives in a community supported by the sector, this agreement will mean more stability and prosperity.”

CAFTA has been a strong supporter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and has continued to press for an agreement since Canada became the second largest economy involved after the U.S. dropped out.

“We’re pleased that the new deal keeps the gains of the former TPP agreement intact – particularly the market access provisions,” says Innes. “It’s crucial that we implement this deal quickly,” Innes says.

“Our competitors are not standing still and already have free trade deals in these markets.”

Australia and Chile already have free trade agreements with Japan and the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement will slash 85 per cent of Japanese tariffs on European agriculture and food products.

Innes noted that the federal government has committed to diversifying the country’s trade and pledged in the 2017 budget to boost agri-food exports to $75 billion in 2025.

“Signing and implementing the CPTPP is a huge step towards $75 billion in exports, exports that will help grow the Canadian economy,” says Innes.

CAFTA is the voice of Canadian agriculture and agri-food exporters. Representing the 90% of farmers who depend on trade and ranchers, producers, processors and agri-food exporters who want to grow the economy through better access to international markets. This includes the beef, pork, meat, grains, cereals, pulses, soybeans, canola as well as the sugar, malt, and processed food industries. The sectors CAFTA represents support over a million jobs in urban and rural communities across Canada.

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