OTTAWA — Canada’s final capitulation to signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership was a move loudly applauded by most agricultural sectors in Canada and equally loudly criticized by the supply-managed sectors. Canada agreed last month to a modified deal to be signed at an unconfirmed date.
The 11-country deal was thrown into disarray last November in Vietnam when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau failed to appear at a meeting to sign the deal even though it was in the same hotel where he was staying.
Much has been said and written about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, both good and bad. But how much will it affect farmers when it comes down to dollars and cents?
Here’s one of the world’s largest trade deals, broken down by the numbers:
Access to Japan is the big win. Current meat exports to Japan exceed $1 billion annually, and pork exports are expected to grow by $300 million under the TPP, according to the Canadian Meat Council. But the entire range of partners represent a big win for the pork industry; the countries in the pact currently take 82 per cent of Canadian pork exports.
An even bigger winner than the pork industry, according to the Canadian Meat Council. More than just Japan, Ontario’s beef industry will get access to Malaysia, which currently has 31 per cent import tariffs on beef products. Japan is expected to take an extra $200 million in Canadian beef annually.
The Grain Growers of Canada haven’t shared actual numbers or projected market impact from the trade deal, but have definitely thrown their weight behind it. President Jeff Nilsen wrote last November that “It is crucial that Canada seize this opportunity to gain competitive access and open up new market opportunities. The tariff reductions that have already been negotiated with TPP nations would significantly expand export prospects for Canadian grain farmers.”
Though not popular in Ontario, canola is a big-time cash crop in Western Canada, and the industry stands to make big gains under the deal. With Japan and Vietnam agreeing to tariff cuts, the Canadian Canola Growers Association says annual Canadian exports could increase by $780 million. Japan alone bought $1.2 billion worth of canola seed in 2016.
The losers in the deal. Canada is willing to allow 10 other countries access to 3.25 per cent of the Canadian dairy market. The provision was originally put into the deal to satisfy the United States and represents a market loss of about $246 million across the country, according to the Dairy Farmers of Canada. The DFC fought to have the provision removed after the United States pulled out of the deal but Canada plans to sign and allow the 3.25 per cent market access.