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Demise of TPP Raises Importance of Bilateral Trade Discussions

26 January 2017, at 12:00am

CANADA - In the wake of the apparent demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership the Canadian Meat Council is hopeful Canada will move ahead as quickly as possible on bilateral trade discussions already underway with Japan and open discussions with Vietnam and Malaysia, writes Bruce Cochrane.

US President Donald Trump has honored an election campaign commitment and signed an executive order to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement and he has indicated that he intends to immediately begin renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

An agreement in principle involving Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam, was signed almost one year ago.

Ron Davidson, the Director of International Trade, Government and Media Relations with Canadian Meat Council, says if the Trans-Pacific Partnership collapses, it will be important for Canada to move ahead with bilateral negotiations.

Ron Davidson-Canadian Meat Council:

If the TPP will no longer exist as an agreement we have consistently said that we would like to reengage as quickly as possible with Japan on continued bilateral negotiations that had already begun and certainly we would look forward to future negotiations with Vietnam and Malaysia as well.

Japan is extremely important for our meat exports, both for pork and for beef.

Japan has already signed a bilateral free trade agreement with Australia.

They are well advanced in negotiating a free trade agreement with the European Union.

We certainly would not wish to repeat the unfortunate experience with South Korea when we fell behind our competitors.

If the TPP is not going to be moving forward we would hope to be able to move as quickly as possible in a bilateral basis with Japan.

Davidson remains hopeful these latest developments will not disrupt the status quo when it comes to trade.

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