Trade Agreement Means Brighter Future for Alberta Pork Producers

CANADA - History was made last week with agreement in principle on the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), and the benefits are considerable for Alberta pork producers.
calendar icon 28 October 2013
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Launched in May 2009, the Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA) is Canada’s most significant free trade initiative since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). With 500 million people and annual economic activity of nearly $17 trillion, the EU is the largest and most lucrative market in the world.

Adding to CETA’s value, the negotiations go beyond tariffs, tackling a broad range of non-tariff issues critical to Canada’s agriculture and food exporters.

"Alberta Pork is pleased with the forward movement on these negotiations," said Executive Director Darcy Fitzgerald. "It’s gratifying to see industry and government working together on this important agreement that will impact the pork industry in a meaningful way."

"Special thanks to the Canadian Agri-food Trade Alliance (CAFTA), Canada Pork International, the Canadian Pork Council, the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta for their efforts in making this a great deal for all Canadians," he added.

The CETA included discussion of technical barriers to trade, sanitary issues, regulatory cooperation and export subsidies, the most significant barriers facing agriculture and food exporters. It also established mechanisms to promote cooperation and discussion on regulatory issues and non-tariff barriers that impede trade.

Through the CETA, Canada and the EU will collaborate on several non-tariff issues, including approval of meat processing facilities and timely approval of bio-tech traits. These and other issues must be fully resolved before the CETA’s implementation.

"The implications of this agreement are considerable," said Mr Fitzgerald, "given that nine out of ten farms in Canada depend on exports and the pork industry exports close to 70 per cent of its production. Together with the food processing sector, these industries support over $44 billion in annual exports and account for 11 per cent of Canada’s GDP."

As Alberta producers wrestle with challenges on several fronts, the timing couldn’t be better for the biggest trade deal that Canada has ever completed. It will make us one of the only developed countries to have preferential access to the world’s two largest markets – the European Union and the United States.

"We still have a long way to go on the path to sustainability in the pork industry," said Fitzgerald, "but the CETA is a huge step in the right direction. It should spark new optimism about the willingness of some players in the Canadian value chain to work together to secure important wins."

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