Posted February 6, 2018

(Winnipeg, MB) – Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) applauds the recent announcement that Canada is one of 11 countries to sign onto the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The agreement will put Canada on a level playing field with respect to tariffs on beef imports into a number of markets with strong potential for growth, said MBP President Ben Fox.

“Growing Manitoba’s beef herd will require more markets for our beef,” Fox said. “Manitoba exports a significant portion of its beef while nationally, approximately 45 per cent of our production is exported. This agreement will enable Canada to seize a larger portion of the coveted Japanese market as we will now have the same level of tariffs as our primary competitors, notably Australia.”

According to figures reported by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), Canada was the fourth largest exporter of beef to Japan with $115 million in 2016. However, prior to the deal, Australia, which is the largest supplier to Japan at $1.8 billion, enjoyed a preferential tariff rate while Canada, New Zealand and the US had a rate of 38.5 per cent. Upon implementation of CPTPP Canada will enjoy the same rate as Australia.

“The nations involved in the CPTPP agreement have very promising markets, but Japan alone represents an incredible opportunity for our industry,” Fox said.

The CCA said it anticipates beef exports to Japan will increase by over $200 million under CPTPP. MBP General Manager Brian Lemon said many of the other markets included under the agreement also hold potential for Manitoba’s beef producers.

“As these TPP economies grow, the demand for higher quality protein in their diets will also increase,” Lemon said. “This is a huge opportunity for Canada’s beef sector.”

“Our sustainable production practices and recognized quality will allow us to compete in these markets and increased demand internationally will drive growth and profitability to Manitoba’s beef sector.”