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Ensuring Canadian agriculture is represented in trade negotiations
Agriculture and trade negotiations are among the key topics addressed in CFA’s advocacy meetings with parliamentarians and government officials. We also bring recommendations forward in presentations on the Hill and at industry conferences and other meetings.
In late October 2017, CFA board members met with over 40 MPs during our Fall Lobby Day. NAFTA and TPP negotiations were one of the key topics discussed, with CFA espousing a “do no harm” approach to NAFTA negotiations for agriculture.
CFA also recommended entering into the TPP-11 agreement to secure market access opportunities for Canadian agricultural exporters while also ensuring that supply management market access concessions given by Canada be suspended to reflect the loss of the US. Failing that, the Canadian Government must ensure that no new market access concessions are given in the NAFTA renegotiations.
CFA conducted a US farm tour in late April 2017 to strengthen the Canada-US trade relationships which included meetings with US farm organizations in California, Kansas, Iowa and Wisconsin.
- Agriculture and agri-food systems generated $111 billion in 2016 , accounting for 6.7 % of Canada’s GDP.
- Agriculture provides one in eight jobs in Canada, employing over 2.3 million people.
- The performance of the agriculture and agri-food system depends on their ability to compete in both domestic and international markets.
- Canada was the world’s fifth-largest exporter of agriculture and agri-food products in 2014, with 3.6% of the total value of world agriculture exports.
- The U.S. is Canada’s most important export destination accounting for 56% of total Canadian exports. China accounts for 9.2%, while Japan, E.U., and Mexico account for 17% combined.
- Provide real and meaningful market access opportunities for our export-oriented sectors, such as red meats, grains and oil seeds.
- Fully mitigate any potential losses supply-managed sectors face as a result of the Canada–EU Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) and the TransPacific Partnership (TPP).
- Address the leaks in current import controls for supply managed products.
- Engage in bi-lateral trade discussions with China.
- Ensure that access gained through current trade agreements is not eroded by non-tariff barriers and focus on regulatory harmonization in those agreements.
- Include regulatory alignment in any future trade deals.
- Maintain and build on the agricultural benefits of NAFTA which have grown significantly over the years.
- The Canadian government must stand firm on its position to build on NAFTA’s success and to not concede any additional market access for supply-managed commodities.
- Focus on regulatory harmonization without compromising health, safety and the environment.
- Eliminate non-tariff trade barriers.