The Canadian Meat Council is applauding progress in efforts to reach a new 11 nation Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement.
Representatives of 11 of the 12 original Trans-Pacific Partnership member nations have been working to salvage an agreement since the United States withdrew in January.
Negotiators were unable to reach an agreement in principle last week when they gathered in Vietnam for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit but they did made significant progress.
Marcus Mattinson, the Communications Manager with the Canadian Meat Council, says the Pacific market is very significant for Canada’s red meat industry.
We’re obviously very happy that it’s been reported that TPP partners have reached an agreement on the core elements of the Pacific trade deal. This is obviously very positive for Canada’s meat industry.
When we are talking about that market from Canada’s perspective, we’re talking about over 1.7 billion dollars of meat exports and that accounts for about 28 percent of Canada’s total global meat exports. It’s a huge market for Canada and we can’t afford not to pursue that market and we also can’t afford to give up a competitive advantage against other nations and other trading blocks who are also competing for this new market.
The key here is timing. We don’t want to lose competitive advantage against other trading markets. Namely, the EU would be one example. We want to make sure that this deal is done as soon as possible. That way we can start trading. We can get to work and we can offer our products to this emerging market.
~ Marcus Mattinson, Canadian Meat Council
Mattinson says what’s really important to remember for Canada is that we have a significant opportunity in the Pacific market. He notes we’re taking about 500 million dollars in projected export increases in Japan alone, a fact which has been communicated to the federal government.