The Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association supports the Government of Canada signing the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP11). The SSGA has added its voice to Canada’s beef producer organizations ahead of an expected meeting of representatives from the 11 countries of the TPP. Canada is a trading nation and trade agreements are crucial for our economy. For Canada’s beef industry, a trade deal with the Asia Pacific region is of vital importance.
“Last year, Canada’s beef industry had over $2.3 billion in exports,” said Shane Jahnke, President of the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association. “The Asia Pacific region, especially Japan, can offer Canadian cattle producers considerable opportunities for expanding into new trade markets,” said Jahnke. Japan is the third largest export market for Canadian beef behind the U.S. and China-Hong Kong.
The remaining countries in the partnership have indicated that they are prepared to proceed with the TPP without Canada. If Canada does not sign the agreement, our beef producers will face an even greater competitive disadvantage in the region than they currently encounter.
“The concern of Canadian beef producers is that if Canada does not sign the TPP, high tariffs will make them extremely uncompetitive in the Japanese market,” the SSGA president noted. Without the deal, Canada will continue to pay a 38.5% tariff, while TPP signatories will see their rates drop to 27% now and each year down to 9% in the future.
“This wide disparity in tariff rates means that Canadian beef producers will essentially lose access to one of our most valuable markets,” Jahnke added. As a result, cattle producers can expect to see significantly fewer trade prospects in the region.
However, by signing on to the TPP11, Canada will see tariffs immediately fall to 27%, the level now being paid by Australia, a key competitor for beef exports to the region. Canada would also gain a 11% advantage in tariff rates over U.S. beef exports. Beef exports have the potential to grow by $200 million with the signing of the TPP.
In November 2017, the leaders of the 11 governments of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership were poised to sign the deal when Canada raised last-minute objections. The agreement was not signed and the countries agreed to a further round of negotiations, which are scheduled for later this month.