Canada and the 10 remaining members of TPP – renamed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) – concluded negotiations on one of the world’s biggest multilateral free trade deals.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, tweeting from Davos, said the historical agreement would create economic growth and jobs for many generations.
The Canadian Meat Council (CMC) added it was pleased that two days of talks in Tokyo had led to the conclusion of a trade deal, with enormous potential to enhance the flow of meat sold across the Pacific Ocean.
CMC president Chris White called it “a generational economic opportunity” that could increase beef and pork sales by at least CA$500m and create 5,800 jobs.
“I can say with confidence that our industry is ready to get to work,” he added. “This gives Canada preferential access to other suppliers, allowing our members to remain competitive in the Pacific market for sales of beef and pork.”
CPTPP has 11 members: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and New Zealand.
Kiwi levy board Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) and the country’s Meat Industry Association (MIA) said the deal would cut trade tariffs on meat products in countries that whack a 50% tax on NZ meat.
“The CPTPP will put New Zealand on a level playing field with other major red meat exporters to the Asia Pacific region, such as Australia and the European Union – especially in Japan where the sector has already lost significant market share,” said MIA chief executive Tim Ritchie.
All countries have agreed to meet in Chile on 8 March 2018 to officially sign the agreement.
While many meat producers around the world are rejoicing at the breakthrough in CPTPP negotiations, one country looking on with jealously is the US. Donald Trump withdrew his country from TPP negotiations soon after his inauguration and America’s meatpackers have rued this decision.
“Withdrawing from TPP was a missed opportunity for the United States to gain greater access to some of the world’s most vibrant and growing markets,” said Kent Bacus, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s director of international trade and market access.
“As we now enter a pivotal round of NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement] negotiations, the last thing we need is to take a step backwards in our relationships with Canada and Mexico.”