Signing of TPP is one important step towards increased Canadian oilseed exports

Today’s signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) starts the clock towards implementing a deal that will bring hundreds of millions more dollars from canola exports into communities to support stable jobs across the country, says the Canola Council of Canada. While negotiations finished in October 2015, today’s signing means that the elimination of tariffs on canola is one step closer.

“Signing the TPP means that Canada is at the table in a deal that could increase the value of canola exports by up to $7801 million annually,” says Patti Miller, president of the Canola Council of Canada (CCC). “The elimination of canola oil tariffs in Japan is extremely important to our sector.”

Because of Australia’s free trade agreement with Japan, they already have preferential access for canola oil into Japan. Each year that passes means that Australia will have a greater advantage over Canadian canola oil.

Japan currently has tariffs on Canadian canola oil of approximately 15%, which has favoured the importation of canola seed to be crushed in Japan. Canadian exports of canola seed to Japan were worth $1.2 billion in 2014. The Canadian industry is concerned that without the TPP it will not only lose out on increased value-added exports, but will also see existing exports to one of Canada’s longest standing customers shrink.

“We have been a stable supplier of canola seed to Japan for over 40 years, but we are acutely aware that other canola suppliers now have better access to Japan than Canada does,” says Miller. “We are very pleased the Canadian government signed the agreement and look forward to a full discussion about the importance of Canada implementing the agreement in Parliament.”

Through the TPP, tariffs on canola oil and canola meal will be eliminated for exports to Japan and Vietnam. This will allow more value-added processing to occur in Canada, a target of the canola industry’s strategic plan, Keep it Coming 2025. Reaching the industry’s target of 14 million tonnes of processing in Canada from the current 7.7 million tonnes will support more jobs and provide growers with more delivery opportunities.

The CCC is on the ground in Auckland to support International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland signing the agreement on behalf of the government of Canada. As a member of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA), the CCC has been represented at virtually all the negotiations since Canada joined in 2012.

Now that the agreement has been signed, it can come into effect once six countries representing 85% of the economy for the TPP region have ratified the agreement through their national processes.

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