Canada-Korea free trade agreement will increase our exports of agricultural and agrifoods products by 32 per cent and boost the value of our economy by about $1.7 billion.”
Canada is now in talks
with South Korea to finalize the remaining stages of an agreement to allow imports of fresh blueberries. Landreville also spoke about the Canada-European Union comprehensive agreement, which he says is by far the most significant set of trade negotiations undertaken by Canada since NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) was concluded.
“It does have the potential to transform our relationship with the
A downtown section of Seoul, capital of South Korea, a country with strong potential for Canadian agricultural exports.
European Union in terms of our trade investment and people mobility relationship.
“It was recently concluded and now, as in all trade agreements, it has to go through a legal review to make sure that it is a legally binding agreement. It has to be translated into multiple languages and then it has to be approved by parliament, not only in Canada but also in the European Union.
“We expect that it will come into force within the next two years.” What sets the Canada-EU outcome apart from a number of other agreements, said the negotiator, is the elimination of tariffs on Canadian agricultural exports. The EU has quite a few tariffs, all of which will be eliminated once the new agreement comes into force.
The TPP distinguishes itself from the one-off bilateral negotiations and agreements in that it includes 12 significant countries, of which Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand are part, as well as some existing free trade partners such as Mexico, Peru, Chili and the U.S.
“I think it’s the sheer size of the economies involved in the TPP that make this a very meaningful and important trade agreement. It’s also going to be very forward-looking. It’s going to include elements ... that are focusing on some of the new challenges that we face in the area of agriculture trade.
8 British Columbia Berry Grower • Spring 2015
“It will focus a lot on trade facilitation, a lot on people mobility, on things like genetically-modified organisms, also on some new sanitary fines and sanitary and technical barriers to trade.”
He said these elements have become important for international trade in agricultural products, but have so far not been encompassed in any trade agreement “on which we will set rules that will be binding and subject to dispute settlement.” As a result, Landreville explained,
the TPP “could be the most transformative trade agreement that we’ve seen, just by the fact that it involves rules that apply equally to such a large share of world economies.” Canada’s
reputation for producing high- quality and safe food products will be a very important competitive advantage in the context of the TPP, according to Landreville. He also
British Columbia’s proximity to the Asia Pacific is a very important aspect in that it offers opportunities to displace main suppliers in the region that are not currently part of the TPP.
The TPP is expected to grow, which is something that will be built into the agreement so other countries that may express an interest in joining will have an ability to do so in the future.
At the moment, an important supplier in the Asian market, China,
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