The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) fully supports the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) as an extremely positive development for Canada’s entire beef sector. Furthermore Canada’s agriculture and agri-food products sector will benefit from preferential market access to all CPTPP countries and gain new market access opportunities. The CPTPP is on track to become the biggest trade agreement in the world, representing 495 million people and 13.5 per cent of global GDP.
Once the CPTPP is implemented, Canadian beef will immediately be imported into Japan at the same preferential tariff as Australian beef. Canadian beef will also be relieved from the current Japanese 50 per cent safeguard tariff on frozen product that has been in place since July 2017. This, along with the new market access in the Asia Pacific region, is of utmost importance to the hard-working families who operate Canada’s 60,000 beef farms and feedlots.
The CCA urges the Government of Canada to expedite the CPTPP implementation Bill through Parliament before the end of Canada’s spring legislative session, given the strong likelihood that at least six and possibly more member countries (Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Mexico) could ratify and implement before the end of April.
Implementing this Bill quickly in Canada will ensure Canada’s beef producers will not be left waiting at the gate while our beef exporting competitors in New Zealand and Mexico join Australia in getting a jump on us in the Japanese market. Market share for Canadian beef in this important market would erode if Parliament is slow to ratify and existing Japanese customers of Canadian beef are forced to look to our competitors.
With the CPTPP Canadian beef exports to Japan are anticipated to see an increase of more than $200 million. This increase will be enjoyed across Canada with processors in Eastern Canada and thriving regional brands like Ontario Corn Feed Beef and Prince Edward Island Certified Beef also benefitting alongside their Western counterparts and the Alberta Beef brand.
The CPTPP is expected to boost Canada’s GDP by $4.2 billion and be a boon to the Canadian economy. When the Canadian economy is growing, and Canadians are confident in their financial situation, domestic demand for Canadian beef remains strong.
Moreover, the CPTPP provides the Canadian beef industry with preferential market access to the blockbuster Japanese market and dynamic new markets in the Asia-Pacific region at a time of continued uncertainty over the ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations. The U.S. is not part of the CPTPP agreement, which gives Canada a competitive advantage over American beef, which will remain at a much higher tariff in these crucially important export markets.
The CPTPP is a massive opportunity for Canada’s beef sector, particularly in the Japanese market. We urge International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne to continue the momentum achieved in Tokyo and progress the CPTPP implementation Bill to coincide with his official signing of the landmark agreement in March.