Passage of Trans Pacific Partnership Bill Good News for Saskatchewan

October 22, 2018

Last week in Parliament, I was pleased to vote in favour of the Bill which Implements the CP Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. The Agreement has now moved onto the Senate for passage.

Originally, the Trans Pacific Partnership had 12 negotiating countries. However, the election of Donald Trump in 2016 led to the withdrawal of the United States from the negotiations. As a result, the remaining 11 negotiating countries agreed to sign the revised CPTPP on their own. It will come into force 60 days after at least six countries have ratified it. So far, Australia, Japan, Mexico and Singapore have done so. Canada, New Zealand and Malaysia are currently in the process of ratifying it.

When ratified, the CPTPP will create a trading block of 495 million people with a combined gross domestic product of CAD $13.5 trillion (13.5% of global GDP). This new trading block is good news for Canadian agriculture and for agricultural producers. Our farmers will have preferential market access to all CPTPP countries. It will provide new market access opportunities for Canadian pork, beef, pulses, fruits and vegetables, malt, grains, cereals, animal feeds, maple syrup, wines and spirits, baked goods, processed grain and pulse products, sugar and chocolate confectionery, and processed foods and beverages.

Market access for Canadian agriculture in the CPTPP is especially significant in the markets of Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam. In these markets, Canada faces high tariffs with no preferential access. The average agricultural tariffs our farmers face in these countries are 17.3 % in Japan, 17% in Vietnam and 10.9% in Malaysia. Farm Credit Canada’s chief economist has said the agreement is good news for Canadian agriculture, because it opens up markets to Canadian products, especially when big competitors like the United States are not a part of it.

According to the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA), Canadian agri-food sales are expected to rise by a total of $1.84 billion when the agreement comes into force. The removal or reduction of tariffs will mean better value for Canadian farmers. It will remove Australia’s advantage over Canadian canola as their tariffs are currently 9%. The agreement will increase canola oil and meal exports by $780 million per year. Barley producers are also expected to earn an additional $100 million in increased annual revenue. While the Labour Party in Australia recently dropped its opposition to the TPP allowing it to pass with bi-partisan support, Jagmeet Singh’s NDP refused to follow the lead of its Australian cousins in favour of Singh’s radical economic agenda. Both of Saskatchewan`s NDP Members voted against the implementation of this very important trade agreement, as did all NDP MPs in the House.

The federal NDP either doesn’t care or doesn’t understand that our grain producers require increased market access to succeed. In addition to its opposition to oil pipelines and its support for both the Liberal Carbon Tax and the new Liberal Gun Registry, it is clear that Jagmeet Singh’s NDP is out of touch with the needs of Western Canadians.

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