Big benefits seen with TPP
Pacificmarkets themain priority for federal trade negotiator.
By Grant Ullyot T
he virtual collapse of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has forced Canada and other countries, most notably the United States, to embark on a bilateral trade agreement agenda that essentially will capture a vast majority not only of Canadian agricultural trade, but also a large share of global agricultural imports.
Denis Landreville is Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s lead negotiator for regional trade agreements and is currently working on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), the latest international trade agreement. He was speaking at the recent Horticulture Short Course, a part of the Pacific Agriculture Show in Abbotsford.
If you take account of the trade agreements we have already concluded or are already in place, he said, they account for 63 per cent of Canadian agriculture. And they account for almost 45 per cent of total world agricultural imports. And when you add in all the countries with which we are currently negotiating, those numbers go up to three-quarters of Canadian agricultural exports and 63 per cent of global imports.
Focusing on some of the trade agreements that are currently part of the TPP negotiations, Landreville said priority is given to those with whom we already have agreements. The United States is a major partner. “We ship about $30 billion worth of exports into TPP countries, primarily the U.S., and approximately $4 billion into Japan. And if you focus on just Canada’s and B.C.’s horticultural exports, the same picture is apparent.”
In his talk, Landreville explored some of the opportunities being created by the fact Canada is negotiating ‘concluding trade agreements’ with markets that
British Columbia Berry Grower • Spring 2015 7
Denis Landreville was a featured speaker at this year’s Pacific Agriculture Show.
present new opportunities. The Canada-South Korea free trade agreement, which came into effect on Jan. 1 of this year, took 10 years to negotiate. He says South Korea is a country that offers great potential and that the Canadian edge is very strong there.
“They have very high tariffs,” noted Landreville. “Korea’s average tariff is 53 per cent. That means your product has an increase in its value of about
50 per cent. And that is in addition to all the other costs you will have to recover on the way over to Korea.” Landreville said that with the free trade agreement in place, about 97 per cent of exported products from Canada — the ones that we are already shipping — will be allowed into South Korea duty-free. “Korea has a population of about 50 million, mostly in the urban regions, so we expect that the
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