Federal ag minister discusses CPTPP, NAFTA and Indian tariffs on pulses
By Andrea Gal
Despite concerns among the supply-managed ag sectors, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is “a great deal for Canadian agriculture,” the federal minister of agriculture and agri-food said.
“This is as good a deal as we could possibly get,” Lawrence MacAulay said to Farms.com today, stressing the importance of Canadian access to the Japanese market.
“In the beef and pork markets, (CPTPP will facilitate) half a billion dollars in new exports,” he explained.
Canadian grain farmers will also see benefits under the new trade agreement, according to a Tuesday release from Grain Growers of Canada.
Some of Canada’s supply-managed sectors, however, are worried about the implications of CPTPP for their commodities. For example, CPTPP trade partners will now have access to an extra 2.1 per cent of Canadian chicken production, Chicken Farmers of Canada said in a Wednesday release.
MacAulay has met with farmers to discuss their concerns, he said. And government officials will sit down with commodity organizations to “deal with the issues as they come forward” during the signing and ratification process.
In his update on the NAFTA negotiations, presented in the midst of sixth-round trade discussions in Montreal, MacAulay reiterated his commitment to supply management.
“Our supply-managed system is a model for the world. It has worked very well … and we intend to support it. We know it is an excellent system,” he said to Farms.com.
Negotiations have been “up and down, of course,” but “we’ve got very capable negotiators at the table.”
And the American ag representatives he’s met with “fully understand the great value” of the trade agreement, he added.
Ultimately, the agreement “has to be the right kind of deal,” MacAulay said.
Indian import duty on pulses
Federal ministers and officials continue to work with their Indian counterparts to address the Indian tariff on imported pulses, he said.
The November tariff on peas was a “major surprise … not only for Canada but for all nations who export pulses to India.”
The Canadian government “understands the value of the pulse exports to the Indian markets and hopefully (this trade issue) can be resolved,” he added.
Updated Jan. 27, 2018 to clarify the meat export figures.
Left to Right: Lawrence MacAulay, Andrea Gal (managing editor of Farms.com) and Joe Dales (executive vice-president of Farms.com).