TPP agreement welcomed by trade bodies

By By Ed Zwirn in New York; Mandy Kovacs in Ottawa; and Lee Adendorff in East Ballina, Australia

- Last updated on GMT

The Cattle Council of Australia said the agreement was 'a game changing opportunity for Australian beef'
The Cattle Council of Australia said the agreement was 'a game changing opportunity for Australian beef'

Related tags: Australian beef, Meat, International trade

International meat bodies have reacted favourably to the successful agreement of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The partnership, which was signed in Atlanta, Georgia, is expected to create a boost in export earnings for the countries involved.

“We look forward to reviewing the full text of the TPP agreement and the schedules of market access concessions as soon as possible,”​ said the US National Pork Producers Council president Dr Ron Prestage. “We are reserving final judgment on the package until then.”​ That being said, the “NPPC played an active role throughout the five-plus years of negotiations,”​ said Prestage. “We have confidence that agreement will provide enormous new market opportunities for high-quality American pork products.”

The Canadian meat industry has also lent its support to the 12-country TPP, which also covers Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Chile and Mexico. “We have been a strong proponent of the trade agreement for some time now, and continue to be​ [as details are released],”​ said Dennis Laycraft, executive vice-president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. “This is vitally important to the next generation of Canadian cattle farmers. It’s a great opportunity for high-quality North American beef.”

Rick Bergmann, the chair of the Canadian Pork Council (CPC), said that while still awaiting details, the CPC strongly supported Canadian participation in the TPP as well.

More profits

The industry is particularly happy that Canadian beef exports to Japan, which are currently subject to tariffs of 38.5%, will be lowered to 9% over the next 15 years. “Our critical conditions were met, and we are happy,”​ Laycraft said, predicting the deal will increase the amount of red meat traded within TPP countries, and more importantly, increase the value of products. With lower duties, more profits would flow back to exporters, he said.

TPP members

  • Australia
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Japan 
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico 
  • New Zealand
  • Peru 
  • Singapore
  • US
  • Vietnam

Australian meat and livestock industry bodies also welcomed this liberalisation. The Cattle Council of Australia said it would “significantly provide increased market opportunities for Australian grass-fed beef producers”​. Cattle Council president Howard Smith said “This agreement signifies a game changing opportunity for Australian beef. As an industry we see a very positive future for our export markets.”

He said the TPP would further liberalise the Australian beef trade with Japan and will also eliminate tariffs on our products destined for Canada, Mexico and Peru. The TPP will cut Japan’s import tariff for Australian beef to 9% while eliminating tariffs by both Mexico and Canada within 10 years, he stressed.

'Christmas has finally come'

A spokesman for the Pastoralists and Graziers Association of Western Australia Sheldon Mumby told GlobalMeatNews that finally reaching an agreement was a relief for the association’s members. “It’s like Christmas has finally come​ [after the build-up],”​ he said adding that the agreement would create greater trading opportunities and strengthen existing trade links.

Mumby said that Australia’s trade with other TPP nations was already significant and that supplying extra demand while the national herd recovered from a record drought-induced turnoff last year would not be a problem. “If there is a demand then growers will grow it,”​ he said, adding that Western Australia had not been affected by drought as Queensland and New South Wales had and would not have a problem supplying the extra numbers.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association welcomed the news​ after the agreement was clinched on October 5.

Related topics: Meat

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