The Canadian Meat Council (CMC) has called on the government to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), essentially TPP in everything but name and US membership.
The pact is an uncompleted trade agreement between 11 countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and New Zealand. The US was part of TPP until President Donald Trump abandoned it.
A framework for CPTPP, also known as TPP 11, is done. But in November 2017, Canada said it would not be “rushed into an agreement” that other members wanted completed by March. This disappointed the CMC, which has warned that failure to sign up to the deal would be a “disaster” for the country’s meat industry.
Joy in Japan - trade deal would slash tariffs
Membership could grow Canadian beef and pork exports by at least CA$500m and create up to 5,800 jobs, the CMC claimed.
One of the major benefits would be a substantial drop in Japan’s beef tariffs, falling to Australia’s level of 27% as soon as the deal is completed. This tariff rate would be 11% lower than that of the US and other exporters, providing Canada’s beef producers with a competitive edge in one of the world’s biggest markets for international beef.
And tariffs would not stop here. Each year after the deal is signed, tariffs would drop further until they reach 9%.
“Left out of CPTPP, Canada would be ‘tariffed-out’ of Japan, a CA$1.2bn market for Canadian meat exports,” CMC said.
“A deal without Canada could spell disaster for the Canadian meat industry as well as for other exporting industries. Regional economic impacts associated with the red meat product supply chain are largest in central Canada with real GDP impacts of CA$4.3bn in Ontario, and nearly CA$3bn in Quebec.”
Today, Canadian beef entering Japan is hit by a hefty 38.5% import tariff.
Japan currently accounts for around a fifth of Canadian meat export value, and strong demand in the market helps to support 14,000 jobs.