The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) welcomed the opportunity to participate in the Government of Canada’s consultation on trade with Asia-Pacific nations.

Pork producers have been serving international markets for more than 25 years and reach consumers in more than 100 countries. Valued at $3.8 billion, exports represented nearly 70% of Canadian pork production in 2016.

“We urge the Government of Canada to take a leadership role in the TPP-11 negotiations with the intention of completing a deal in the very near term” said Rick Bergmann, Chair of the Canadian Pork Council. “Canada’s pork producers request that the Government of Canada work to ensure a TPP-11 agreement is implemented without jeopardizing the negotiated outcomes on market access that were agreed to in the original TPP agreement,” he added.

Enhanced market access is of critical importance to Canadian producers and government’s efforts to expand economic ties in key Asia-Pacific markets are very much appreciated. The Pacific region is experiencing significant economic growth and is also a region with an evolving need for agricultural products.

The Government of Canada has identified Asia-Pacific as “a priority market” and notes it is working with the current Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) participants to assess alternatives. The value these markets bring to the trade of Canadian pork is key to the expansion of the industry. While Japan is the most lucrative market, there is room to quickly improve Canadian market shares in Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Canada has the capacity and ability to complete this deal so that Canadians can take full advantage of this opportunity while other countries continue to negotiate. However, the status quo is not an option. If a free trade agreement with Asia-Pacific nations is not implemented, Canada will face ongoing erosion of its ability to compete in Japan and other rapidly growing Asian markets.