(The following is written as an open letter to federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay.)
Japan, Mexico and Singapore have now ratified the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which means only three other countries need to ratify before the trade agreement can come into force. We must ensure that Canada is among the remaining three countries to complete the ratification process and secure first mover advantage over our competitors. Failure to do so would compromise many aspects of the Canadian economy, especially our agriculture and agri-food sector, which would greatly benefit from the immediate tariff reductions.
According to research commissioned by the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance, the CPTPP could increase agri-food exports by $1.84 billion. Not being in the CPTPP could mean $2.93 billion in opportunity costs for the agri-food sector.
(Recently), the leader of the official opposition, the Honourable Andrew Scheer, called on the prime minister to request that the speaker recall the House of Commons as soon as possible this summer to debate and pass Bill C-79, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation Act.
We urge you to support this call at the cabinet table and ask that you impress upon your colleagues why an expeditious process is necessary for the Canadian economy, our farmers, ranchers and processors, and to achieve your government’s target of growing agriculture and agri-food exports to $75 billion by 2025.