CANADA - The chair of Manitoba Pork warns lessons learned as a result of the recent trade deal involving the United States and South Korea have demonstrated the importance of Canadian participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, writes Bruce Cochrane.
Canada is among 12 nations involved in negotiations aimed at securing a Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement.
The 12 nations involved in the TPP account for an estimated 40 per cent of the world's gross domestic product and approximately a third of all global agricultural trade.
George Matheson, the chair of Manitoba Pork, says, while Canadian participation in this multilateral trade agreement would potentially broaden the market for pork products produced in Manitoba failure to be included in the deal would leave our exporters at a severe disadvantage to our competitors.
George Matheson-Manitoba Pork:
Number 1 we would lose out to the US and Europe on receiving favorable tariffs on our exports.
This was the case on a recently negotiated trade deal that the US had made with Korea.
A recent study estimates that that gave the US a $10 per hog benefit to their pork producers from their free trade agreement with South Korea.
It is something that is very important and it is a wonderful opportunity.
Of course we hope it goes through and goes through soon, and any time you're looking at a free trade deal with 40 per cent of the world's economy you've got to think that this can not be a bad thing and we want to be part of it.
Mr Matheson notes its estimated that currently in Asia there's about 500,000,000 middle class people and that's expected to grow about 6 times in the next 15 years.
He says you're looking at an area with huge potential as a buyer of Manitoba produced pork products.
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