Beef producers from the Five Nations Beef Alliance – from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States – have urged participants in the trade negotiations to secure a "comprehensive, non-discriminatory outcome", which would include the elimination of tariffs "and importantly address behind-the-border trade barriers".
The Alliance said it was concerned that TPP members had not been able to develop a tariff-eliminating deal, and unless there was a commitment to creating a trade liberalising outcome, "countries could begin to drift away from the goal of achieving a 21st-century agreement".
It said that, above all, a TPP agreement must make it easier to do business. The Alliance has also called on each member country to provide the same market access arrangements to all other members.
The Five Nations Beef Alliance comprises the Cattle Council of Australia, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), Confederacion Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas (in Mexico), Beef + Lamb New Zealand and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in the US.
John Masswohl, director - government and international relations at the CCA, told GlobalMeatNews: "The CCA stands with its Five Nations Beef Alliance (FNBA) partners in insisting upon full tariff elimination for beef by all TPP countries.
"A successful TPP is needed to eliminate tariffs that impair trade. In Japan for instance, the CCA’s objective is that Canada negotiate the elimination of both the 38.5% tariff and the safeguard trigger (tariff increases to 50% if imports increase beyond a set formula) in either the TPP or in a bilateral agreement between Canada and Japan."
Andrew Ogilvie, president of the Cattle Council of Australia that with over 70% of Australia’s beef production destined for overseas customers, trade facilitation improvements will directly impact the profitability of the beef supply chain. He told GlobalMeatNews: "Importantly, trade liberalisation has been shown to create opportunities for growth, development and diversification – all key determinants for industry prosperity.
"The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations include a number of Australia’s key beef trading partners including Japan, the United States, Singapore and Malaysia. Australia’s participation in the TPP negotiations will further strengthen our trade relationship with these customers."
Ogilvie added that the TPP could also build on the preferential trade agreements Australia has already concluded by providing enhanced access arrangements for Australian beef.
"Where Australia does not have existing trade agreements with TPP members ie Canada, Mexico and Peru, a successful TPP outcome could provide the Australian beef industry with closer trading partnerships."
Chase Adams, director of communications at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, commented: "US beef producers thrive on a level playing field. Cattlemen and women seek the opportunity to give our customers worldwide a wide choice and selection of high quality US beef. And only a true 21st century agreement, based on internationally accepted science and without the hindrance of tariffs can achieve those goals."