Trade Deal With Japan Wanted, With or Without the TPP

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Whether it’s through the Trans-Pacific Partnership or not, Canada’s meat processors say they need a trade deal with Japan to maintain exports.

While Australia and New Zealand remain hopeful the TPP can move forward, the 12-country deal’s future looks bleak after President Trump followed through on his campaign promise to withdraw the U.S. from the agreement this week.

For Canada’s agriculture sector, much of the incentive in participating in the TPP was market access to Japan.

“If TPP isn’t going to move forward quickly, we need to immediately re-engage with Japan on the bilateral discussions,” explains Ron Davidson, the Canadian Meat Council’s director of international trade and government relations, in the interview below.

As he explains, Australia has completed its free trade deal with Japan, while the EU is well-advanced in negotiations with the country that was Canada’s second highest-value pork market and fourth highest beef market in 2015.

“We need to catch up to Australia in terms of access,” says Davidson. “There’s also urgency because we’re hearing the U.S. wishes to engage in a bilateral with Japan.”

What’s the impact of the U.S. withdrawing from the TPP? Should Canada push to keep the TPP alive or reallocate resources to negotiating a bilateral with Japan? Davidson joined us on RealAg Radio on Tuesday to discuss the impact of Trump’s trade decisions on the Canadian meat sector:

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