CANADA - The Chair of Sask Pork says, in the event the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) fails to make it to the finish line, the Government of Canada needs to be prepared to refocus its efforts on the creation of new bilateral trade agreements, writes Bruce Cochrane.
Free trade and the disposition of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement were key topics of discussion during the just completed US election campaign.
Florian Possberg, the Chair of the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board, says two thirds of the pork produced in Canada and 20 per cent of the pork produced in the US are exported so we need to trade globally to maintain levels of production and the TPP would allow pork to move to where it's needed at a reasonable price so the prospects of rejection of the deal are concerning.
Florian Possberg-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board:
It really is problematic for the US pork producers because they've got a 20 per cent stake in moving product outside their borders.
I would assume that the buyers still need our pork.
Whether that comes from Canada, the EU, Brazil, it's going to come from somewhere. There was a lot of rhetoric during the election.
At the end of the day, though, I think there might be adjustments to trade deals but I'm pretty sure that the United States is going to realize that they have to maintain significant levels of trade to maintain their economy.
We don't know how that's going to filter out at the end of the day.
I think it's well known that that good business tends to overcome poor government policies.
We'll see how it turns out but I think, at the end of the day, there will continue to be significant trade in pork globally.
Mr Possberg says Canada needs to maintain its ability to export pork, particularly to Japan so, if the deal has a problem getting to the finish line, we need to have an acceptable bilateral agreement with Japan so our products continue to flow there.
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