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Mar 8

Alberta Wheat Commission and Alberta Barley welcome signing of CPTPP, urge quick passage to ensure Canadian farmers stay competitive

Posted on Mar 8 By: Victoria Decker

(Calgary, Alberta), March 8, 2018 – The Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) and Alberta Barley today welcomed the signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP). The Commissions urge quick passage by Parliament to ensure Canada is among the first group of countries included when the trade deal takes effect. The CPTPP will unlock new access and improve the trading environment for wheat and barley products throughout member countries and ensures Canadian farmers will stay competitive. The deal was signed at an official ceremony in Chile earlier today.

Quick passage will ensure that Canada does not lose out on export opportunities to our main competitors, including Australia and New Zealand, who have signalled that they will move forward quickly with ratification upon signing the agreement. These two countries have pre-existing trade agreements with Japan, one of Canada’s largest markets for wheat exports.

Countries within the TPP zone import more than 6 million tonnes of wheat annually, representing nearly 27 per cent of Canada’s wheat export market valuing over $1.5 billion in farm revenues.

“Canadian farmers are export dependent. This agreement not only opens up new market opportunities which will translate to added profitability for this industry, but it will also ensure that Canada isn’t losing market share to our main competitors within the CPTPP zone,” said Kevin Bender, AWC Chair.

Impacts on our sector will be immediate once this agreement goes into effect. For wheat exports, Canadian farmers will gain a major advantage over U.S. wheat entering into Japan – one of Canada’s biggest markets – since the U.S. is no longer part of the agreement. For Canadian barley, reduction or elimination of tariffs and quotas for feed, food and malt will translate into an additional 400-500 thousand tonnes and $100 million in increased revenue through direct exports, and through domestic feed and malt processing demands to countries in the CPTPP zone. CPTPP will also help Canadian barley to regain its foothold in the Japanese market after seeing a 75 per cent loss between 2012 and 2015 due to Australia’s free trade agreement with Japan. Canadian barley will also see increased demand within domestic markets since Canadian beef exports are one of the largest projected export gains.

“Today’s announcement is a big win for the agri-food sector,” said Jason Lenz, Alberta Barley Chair. “CPTPP paves the way for significant diversification in our markets, new export opportunities and better competitive advantage for Canadian farmers.”

The CPTPP may expand beyond its current members opening up new markets including Indonesia, the world’s largest importer of wheat. The deal currently includes Canada, Japan, Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Mexico and Brunei Darussalam. Together they represent a market of 500 million people and 13.6 per cent of the global GDP.

Media Contact:
Victoria Decker
Interim Communications Manager
Alberta Wheat Commission
vdecker@albertawheat.com
403-219-7906

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