Farm groups applaud CPTPP signing

Winnipeg (CNS Canada) — Canadian agriculture groups are welcoming the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) signed by the Canadian government and 10 other nations in Santiago, Chile, on March 8.

“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,” Kevin Bender, chair of the Alberta Wheat Commission, said in a news release.

In addition to Canada, signatories include Japan, Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Mexico, and Brunei.

The 11 countries represent a market of 500 million people and 13.6 percent of global gross domestic product. The United States had originally been included, but pulled out of the original deal shortly after the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

Canada’s canola growers’ organization said the CPTPP helps Canada maintain important markets.

“It helps us regain competitiveness in our long-standing trade relationship with Japan, and serves to open new opportunities in the rapidly growing consumer markets within the Asia-Pacific region,” Jack Froese, president of the Canadian Canola Growers Association, said in a news release.

Jeff Nielsen, president of Grain Growers of Canada, said “signing CPTPP, as well as the investments in Asian trade in Budget 2018, show the government understands the importance of Asian markets to Canadian agriculture.”

The CPTPP is expected to come into force 60 days after six of 11 signatories have ratified the agreement.

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