Multilateral agreement offers stability and economic growth, says CAFTA President
By Kaitlynn Anderson
Canada is one step closer to securing increased access to the Asia-Pacific market.
The Canadian government tabled the Comprehensive and Progressive agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) last week, Thursday’s Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA) release said.
If Canada implements the agreement, the country’s agri-food sector could join other exporters on a more level playing field.
For example, Mexico, Australia and Chile have already implemented other deals with Japan, the release said. The European Union (EU) and Japan have also formed an Economic Partnership Agreement.
CPTPP could increase Canada’s agri-food exports by $1.84 billion, the release said.
“Whether you are a Canadian farm family who depends on world markets, a processor, an exporter, or someone who lives in a community supported by the sector, this agreement means more stability, economic growth and prosperity,” Brian Innes, president of CAFTA, said in the release.
Once six countries ratify CPTPP, the agreement will be operational.
And the first countries to implement the deal will gain added benefits, as “tariff cuts (will) come into effect and they will secure a first-mover advantage over other CPTPP members who have not ratified,” the release stated.
Canada has to act quickly to secure one of these spots.
“We need to have the government ratify the agreement as soon as possible because, if the other countries implement the deal and we’re not part of it, our members won’t benefit from the first tariff reductions,” Claire Citeau, executive director for CAFTA, told Farms.com yesterday.
“Not being one of the first six countries in the CPTPP would have a notable impact on the competitiveness of our agri-food exporters.”
While Mexico was the first country to ratify the deal, other governments are making progress.
For example, Australia tabled the agreement and plans to ratify the treaty quickly, Citeau said.
Japan has also tabled the deal and brought the bill through it’s Lower House. The country’s government plans to vote on the bill before the end of June, she said.
In addition, “Malaysia and Chile are both expected to implement the agreement quickly and New Zealand, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam and Brunei are all working towards an autumn implementation date,” the release said.
UPDATED MAY 30, 2018
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