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MPs call for CPTPP ratification

MPs call for CPTPP ratification

Two Conservative MPs wrote a letter to federal ag minister MacAulay

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Members of the federal Conservative caucus are calling on the federal ag minister to help ratify a crucial piece of trade legislation.

John Barlow, Member of Parliament for Foothills, Alta., and Luc Berthold, who represents the riding of Mégantic-L'Érable, Que., have written letter to Lawrence MacAulay outlining the importance of ratifying the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Implementation Act.

Both MPs are also agriculture critics in leader Andrew Scheer’s shadow cabinet.

Mexico, Japan and Singapore have ratified the CPTPP. The trade agreement comes into effect after six countries ratify the deal.

Canada must be among the first six to gain competitive advantages, the letter suggests.

“We must ensure that Canada is among the remaining three countries to complete the ratification process and secure first mover advantage over our competitors,” the letter says. “Failure to do so would compromise many aspects of the Canadian economy, especially our agriculture and agri-food sector which would greatly benefit from the immediate tariff reductions.”

Joining the CPTPP could increase ag exports by $1.84 billion, research from the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance says. Not being in the 11-country trade agreement could risk $2.93 billion for Canada’s ag sector.

The MPs wrote the letter after a request from their party’s leader went unanswered.

Last week, Andrew Scheer urged Prime Minister Trudeau to call an emergency parliamentary session to ratify the agreement.

The Trudeau Liberal government has not yet indicated whether it will sit this summer.

The Conservative MPs are hopeful Minister MacAulay can get through to his fellow cabinet ministers.

“We urge you to support this call at the cabinet table and ask that you impress upon your colleagues why an expeditious process is necessary for the Canadian economy, our farmers, ranchers and processors, and to achieve your government’s target of growing agriculture and agri-food exports to $75 billion by 2025,” the letter says.

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