CANADA - The chair of the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board says Canada's participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership will be a critical component in the future viability of Saskatchewan's pork industry, writes Bruce Cochrane.
Representatives of the 12 nations involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations are expected to meet later this month after failing to finalize a deal last week.
Florian Possberg, the chair of Sask Pork, says, while it is concerning a deal wasn't reached, it's important for all parties to get it right and he is still optimistic.
Florian Possberg-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board:
Our pork industry depends quite heavily on exports globally, and although we do market to quite a number of countries globally, some of the membership in the TPP are very critical to our hog industry, particularly Japan and the United States, Australia, some of the Pacific Rim countries, so this agreement is quite important for the strength and viability of our industry.
A successful TPP negotiation will lower some of the tariffs and barriers for trade into these countries, which is really an upside for us.
What's really important for Canada though is that we be part of these negotiations, as we found out when the United States had a beneficial agreement with Korea.
Our exports actually dropped by 75 per cent to South Korea over a 2 year period.
Since, particularly Japan, is such a key market for us, we really can not afford to have that happen to us this go around so having a successful TPP, with Canada involved, is very important.
Mr Possberg stresses it's important for Canada to continue to broaden our base for global trade.
He says expanded free trade is beneficial to what we do in Saskatchewan, which is produce food in a very safe and economical manner.
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