News that there is a reported deal among the remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is coming as good news for Canada’s Ag sector.
CAFTA President Brian Innes says this is fantastic news.
"It's a huge opportunity for us," he says. "Trans-Pacific Partnership with eleven countries, including Japan which is a major market for Canadian agri-food products whether its beef or pork, canola, or wheat, we send a lot of product to Japan. What's happening is that other countries are competitors in the world have agreements that we don't in Japan."
The potential deal was struck among the eleven remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Canada’s Agriculture sector is well positioned for future growth in the Asia Pacific market, especially in Japan.
Innes says it’s crucial that we implement this deal quickly adding our competitors are not standing still and already have free trade deals in these markets.
There’s speculation that we could see TPP 11 signed by early March.
Innes talks about the potential we could see.
"Let's take canola, for example, we ship about 1.2 billion dollars worth of Canola to Japan, and there's an opportunity to grow that by processing it into oil and places like Yorkton and Clavet," he said. "But we can't do that because of tariffs, and with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, it would enable us to not only prevent us from following behind the Australians but also being able to grow more value-added exports from Canada."
Innes says this is a historic moment; whether you are a farm family who depends on world markets, a processor, an exporter, or someone who lives in a community supported by the sector, this agreement will mean more stability and prosperity.