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CANADA - The Canadian Meat Council is urging all political parties to support Canada's participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, writes Bruce Cochrane.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a proposed 12 nation free trade agreement.
Last week, following the G20 Ministerial Agricultural Meeting in Turkey, federal agriculture minister Gerry Ritz assured reporters when it comes to the TPP, Canada is at the table.
He said he is negotiating in good faith, is serious about making this work in the best interests of Canada, and will be at the table till the bitter end.
Ron Davidson, the director of international trade, government and media relations with the Canadian Meat Council, says full participation is crucial to Canada's red meat industry.
Ron Davidson-Canadian Meat Council
From the meat industry's perspective participation in the TPP is something that is incredibly important.
Not participating should not be an option.
At the present time we are exporting over a billion dollars worth of meat to Japan alone and through the TPP we have potential for increasing our sales to Japan and to other TPP markets including Malaysia and Vietnam for example.
If we were not to have a level playing field and equivalent access to those markets, to other TPP countries, not only would we be losing the potential for increasing our exports but our current exports would be at risk, severe risk.
We saw already what happened in South Korea when we did not have equivalent access to the United States and Europe.
That impact would be magnified several times if we weren't permitted equivalent access into foreign markets for the TPP.
Mr Davidson said it's absolutely vital to the Canadian meat industry, and to many other Canadian agricultural sectors, that Canada is not only a part of the TPP, but that it fully participates and has equivalent access.
TheMeatSite News Desk