Canada must forge ahead with the Pacific trade deal as to not miss a once in a lifetime opportunity

January 18, 2018 OTTAWA—Trade partners surrounding the Pacific Ocean are eager to move forward with the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) urges Canada to work with the other 10 countries to sign the agreement as soon as possible. The CPTPP must not be overlooked or neglected as it will enable Canada to reach the $75 billion export goal laid out in Budget 2017.

Exports are the driver of the exceptional growth of pork production in Canada and have been particularly important to operations based in Ontario and Québec. Different bilateral and regional trade agreements have been implemented over the past 20 years and the result has been phenomenal. Pork and pork products exported from Canada increased from $1.1 billion to close to $4 billion in 2017.

Canada is the world’s third-largest pork exporter in part because of a strong effort to diversify export markets. The number of countries to which Canada export has climbed from 50 in 1990, to 140 in 2017. Also, contrary to many other Canadian economic sectors, the pork industry has become less dependent upon the United States for export sales. For example, in 1990, the U.S. accounted for 75% of Canadian pork exports, while in 2017, only 29% of pork products went to the U.S.
Japan is a very strong market for Canadian pork. Pork is a premium product in Japan and sells for over double the Canadian price. In 2017, Canadian pork exports to Japan reached almost $1 billion. If Canada is not part of the CPTPP, that valuable Japanese market would rapidly be acquired by other countries including members of the European Union which recently concluded its negotiations with Japan.

According to CPC Chair Rick Bergmann, every time a trade deal is signed without the participation of Canada, there is a negative impact on the pork sector. “The failure to sign the CPTPP would result in huge losses to the hog sector leading to pork producers leaving their farms, and closures of processors and exporters.”

Canada was in a similar position several years ago when the United States, the European Union and other major competitors secured free trade deals with South Korea ahead of Canada. The Canadian pork sector lost its traditional market share in Korea almost immediately and saw pork exports to that country fall by two thirds (67%) within just two years. The Canadian pork market in Japan is much larger than South Korea. The CPTPP is vital to the pork industry.

Canada has been involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations since 2012. It is time to reap the benefits of this hard work. The CPC believes that a signed agreement that includes Canada will secure a strong relationship in key markets offering great potential.

The Canadian Pork Council is the national voice for hog producers in Canada. A federation of nine provincial pork industry associations representing 7,000 farms, the organization plays a leadership role in achieving and maintaining a dynamic and prosperous Canadian pork sector.


Media Contact:
Gary Stordy
Government and Corporate Affairs
Canadian Pork Council
613 236-9239 ext. 277

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