Winnipeg, Manitoba -- Yesterday’s signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in New Zealand is a progressive step for canola farmers reliant on exports. The official signing by Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Trade Minister, and her 11 counterparts from across the Pacific region, is the first formal step in the member states reaching ratification of the agreement.
“A ratified TPP is critically important for Canadian canola farmers and signing the agreement keeps it moving forward,” says Brett Halstead, President of Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA). “The TPP brings so many potential benefits to our farms, our communities and our industry.”
The benefits of TPP for Canadian canola farmers are broad in scope. The TPP market is home to our top customers, and it accounts for over 60 percent of canola export sales. In 2014, Canadian exports to TPP members totaled $5.7 billion in canola seed, oil and meal. More generally, the region is home to 800 million potential consumers. Improved access for oil and meal will support the expansion of domestic crushing, creating processing jobs in rural communities and more domestic delivery options for farmers.
“With tariffs in Japan and Vietnam phased out over five years, exports of canola oil and meal could grow by $780 million per year,” says Rick White, CEO of CCGA. “TPP has non-tariff benefits as well, creating a more cooperative trading regime and ensuring a more predictable environment for canola exports.”
Now that the agreement has been signed, it can move through the ratification process in each of the member countries. The agreement can come into effect in two years once six countries, representing 85% of the economy for the TPP region, have ratified the agreement.
The Trade Minister has expressed her intent to consult with Canadians about the TPP. “CCGA looks forward to conferring with the Minister about the importance of the TPP to Canada’s 43,000 canola farmers,” says Halstead. “This a momentous agreement for our industry and for the livelihoods of our farms.”
CCGA represents more than 43,000 canola farmers on national and international issues, policies and programs that impact farm profitability. CCGA is a member of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance, which has represented Canada’s agriculture export interests at TPP negotiations.
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