Canadian agri-food exporters urge Canada to push ahead on new Trans-Pacific Partnership

Da Nang, Vietnam - The Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA) today welcomed progress on a framework for a new Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership on the margins of the APEC meeting in Vietnam this week.

"It's encouraging that progress is being made towards a new agreement," said  CAFTA President Brian Innes. "We urge Canada to work constructively with the remaining TPP partners to finalize the agreement as soon as possible".

CAFTA has been a strong supporter of the former TPP, which includes Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam – all dynamic economies in the Asia-Pacific. The organization continues to press for a renewed TPP, particularly since Canada became the second largest economy involved after the U.S. dropped out.

"We're pleased that the new framework keeps the gains of the former TPP agreement intact – particularly the market access provisions," said Innes. CAFTA had warned the federal government against changing market access provisions that were negotiated in the original TPP deal.

CAFTA represents farmers, ranchers, producers, processors and agri-food exporters who want to grow the economy through better access to international markets. This includes the beef, pork, meat, grains, cereals, pulses, soybeans, canola as well as the sugar, malt, and processed food industries. More than 90 per cent of Canadian farmers depend on world markets.

"Implementing progressive trade rules with all participating countries is important," said Innes. "It's also crucial that we restore Canada's competitive position in the Asia-Pacific to prevent our exports to Japan from eroding further."

Australia and Chile already have free trade agreements and the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement will slash 85 per cent of Japanese tariffs on European agriculture and food products.

"We're grateful the dedicated negotiating team led by trade Minister Francois-Phillipe Champagne has gotten us this far," said Innes. "But we're not there yet, let's keep the momentum going."

CAFTA is the voice of Canadian agriculture and agri-food exporters. Representing the 90% of farmers who depend on trade and ranchers, producers, processors and agri-food exporters who want to grow the economy through better access to international markets. This includes the beef, pork, meat, grains, cereals, pulses, soybeans, canola as well as the sugar, malt, and processed food industries. The sectors CAFTA represents support over a million jobs in urban and rural communities across Canada.

For further information, please contact:

Claire Citeau, Executive Director T: 613-560-0500     E: cciteau@cafta.org