Canada Abstention from Trans-Pacific Partnership "Not A Viable Option"

5 October 2015, at 12:00am

CANADA - Abstention by Canada from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is not a viable option for the export-dependent agriculture and agrifood sector of the country, Canadian Meat Council (CMC) President Joe Reda has said.

“The decisions that are made this week will determine whether the sector looks backward to the past and withers or whether it looks forward to the future and grows,” added Mr Reda.

“Canadian farmers, food processors and policy-makers must recognise that, when the negotiations are concluded, the status quo will no longer exist,” said Canadian Meat Council Executive Director Jim Laws.

“The global trading environment will have changed dramatically and permanently. The choices that negotiators make in Atlanta will establish whether the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector will benefit from the new reality or pay the price of opportunity squandered,” added Mr Laws.

According to the Council, Canada has one of the most trade-dependent agricultural sectors in the world, exporting over half of its agriculture and agri-food production, 65 per cent of which is destined to TPP markets.

In its statement, the Council added that loss of competitive access to the critical TPP markets would be devastating for Canadian feed grain and livestock farmers as well as for workers and rural municipalities throughout the nation.