Alberta Wheat and Barley call on the Government to ratify TPP-11
Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, PC, MP
Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A3
January 18, 2018
Alberta Wheat Commission and Alberta Barley
6815-8 St. NE, Suite 200
Calgary, Alberta, T2E 7H7
Dear Prime Minister:
The Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) and Alberta Barley, on behalf of 14,000 primary producers within the province, implore the government to move ahead on the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Canadian agriculture has a role, some would say even an obligation, to help feed growing populations. This is especially true in developing countries. Our productive capacity is untapped, and some would estimate that we could feed another billion people from the crop capacity right here in the prairie provinces. However, we need to have the competitive trade regulations in place to ensure that our agricultural goods can end up on the shelves of growing nations.
Alberta’s producers are dependent on export opportunities for our agricultural products. Countries within the TPP zone import more than six million tonnes of wheat annually. This represents 27 per cent of Canada’s wheat export market at a value of over $1.5 billion in farm revenues. The CPTPP agreement will benefit the Agriculture and Agri-Food sector and continue to provide jobs in both rural and urban Canada.
Canadian producers are already feeling the effects from falling behind in trade deals. Since Japan and Australia signed a free trade agreement in 2014, Canadian barley exports to Japan have fallen by 26 per cent. In conversations with the Japanese consulate, it is clear that the Japanese government is invested in seeing the CPTPP signed. It was plainly stated that there is no interest in a bi-lateral agreement. If the Canadian government chooses not to participate in CPTPP, Canada’s next chance for trade negotiations with Japan will have to wait until a government change in Japan. Unless we remain involved in agreements such as the CPTPP, our access to world markets will continue to diminish and the Agriculture and Agri-Food sector will stagnate.
AWC and Alberta Barley expect Canadian negotiators to be present in Japan when the final loose ends of the agreement are finalized in Japan at the end of January. We expect to see the Canadian Minister of International Trade to be on hand when the agreement in principle is scheduled to be signed at the end of February. Non-participation by Canada will cause significant harm to those who work in and those who rely on the business of Canadian agriculture.
Chair of Alberta Wheat Commission
Chair of Alberta Barley Commission