(Ottawa, ON) February 16, 2012– The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) has submitted comments on behalf of Canadian hog producers to Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada insupport of Canada’s participation in negotiations of a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), urging that Canada enter these talks without pre-conditions or exclusions.
“Canada should not accept any pre-conditions for its entry into TPP negotiations and it should not make any exclusions to what it is willing to negotiate in advance of such negotiations in order to achieve the best overall negotiating result” stated CPC’s Chair, Jean-Guy Vincent.
“Accepting pre-conditions from other countries will reduce our negotiating leverage prior to achieving any concessions from TPP negotiating partners. Also, by excluding anything in advance of negotiations, Canada would be compromising what can be achieved for Canadians from participation in these important negotiations.”
The CPC sees important opportunities for the Canadian pork industry by Canada joining TPP negotiations. It will assist in:
- providing Canada the means of securing, or even enhancing, its terms of trade with Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners who are, or wish to be, TPP participants
- expanding new markets to several Pacific region nations that have growing economies and a preference for pork, and are not yet TPP members.
“Canada needs to get into the ‘TPP tent’ now, rather than wait to try to get in later,” added Jean-Guy Vincent. “The sooner Canada becomes a Trans Pacific-Partnership participant, the greater is its ability to help shape it and to prevent it from taking on pre-conditions that may later on make it less favourable to Canada’s interests.”
Export access is of crucial importance to the Canadian pork industry. Canadian pork exports in 2011 exceeded 3.2 billion dollars. Live swine exports contributed another 400 million dollars to Canada’s merchandise trade account. Almost two-thirds of Canada’s pork production is exported. With constantly changing conditions of export competition – exchange rates, agricultural policy and technical barriers to name a few – Canada’s pork producers are extremely concerned that Canada not fall behind the United States and other competitors in terms of access acquired through regional trade agreements.
The CPC feels that if Canada should wait until later rounds of TPP enlargement to seek membership, the country will become more likely to find itself in a challenging position and it likely will be more expensive, in terms of concessions, to get accepted when dealing with a broader range of countries.
CPC’s comments on Canada’s participation in the negotiations of a Trans Pacific-Partnership can be found at: www.cpc-ccp.com
The CPC serves as the national voice for hog producers in Canada. A federation of nine provincial pork industry associations, our organization’s purpose is to play a leadership role in achieving and maintaining a dynamic and prosperous Canadian pork sector.
For more information, contact:
Public Relations Manager
Canadian Pork Council
613-236-9239 Ext. 277