Statement by the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance on the status of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations in Atlanta, GA
Atlanta, GA – Sept. 30, 2015 –With trade ministers scheduled to meet over the next three days to negotiate the terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance President Brian Innes issued the following statement:
“As we head into this critical hour, we remain hopeful that all of our political leaders recognize that we are entering a potentially historic moment for Canadian agriculture. More than 90 per cent of Canadian farmers depend on world markets for their livelihoods, having access to global markets on a level playing field is necessary for them to be competitive. The TPP is crucial to securing Canada’s economic prosperity and future growth; the costs of not participating would be immeasurable and the damage felt across our entire agriculture sector.
It is important to stay focused on what the TPP means to the future of Canadian agriculture. From a trade perspective, the TPP region absorbs 65 per cent of Canada’s annual agri-food exports, and encompasses a market of 800 million people– accounting for nearly 40 per cent of the world’s economy.
The TPP would provide Canadian agriculture and agri-food exporters improved access to rapidly growing Asian-Pacific markets such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and preserve the benefit of our integrated North American market. Without a TPP agreement, Canadian agriculture risks becoming uncompetitive in these and other key markets.
For Canada’s agricultural and agri-food exporters, the TPP region simply cannot be ignored. After five years of negotiations, a potentially landmark TPP deal is finally in sight. As negotiations get down to the wire this week, we implore our political leaders to continue to act in the best interests of Canada by achieving and signing a deal that ensures a competitive future for Canadian agriculture in the global marketplace.
CAFTA is a coalition of national and regional organizations that support a more open and fair international trading environment for agriculture and agri-food. CAFTA’s members include producer organizations, processors, marketers and exporters from the major trade dependent sectors in Canada. Together, these sectors produce over 80 per cent of Canada’s agriculture and agri-food exports, about $50 billion in exports annually. The economic activity created by CAFTA members supports more than 880 000 jobs in agriculture and food manufacturing. A significant portion of these jobs would not exist without competitive access to world markets.
For further information, contact:
Executive Director, CAFTA