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Ottawa TPP negotiation tactics unknown to Dairy Farmers of Canada
November 10, 2017

Ottawa has not consulted with the country’s dairy industry about the specific changes it’s seeking on market access in a renegotiated Trans Pacific Partnership agreement, Dairy Farmers of Canada officials said Wednesday. 

“We had heard there might be some things, but no. All we know is that they are in negotiations,” Dairy Farmers of Canada President Pierre Lampron told reporters. The industry, he said, is watching the TPP situation closely.

A TPP agreement without the United States is a different deal — and any market access changes should reflect that, Lampron insisted. Dairy industry officials are in Ottawa for a one-day symposium organized by Dairy Farmers of Canada on the industry’s sustainability.

“For us it’s simple: TPP-11 is not TPP-12, especially when we lose a big player like the United States,” he told reporters in French. “We think the piece that affects us the most is the market access that we gave under the TPP. We need to revise the amounts of access.”

President Donald Trump formally withdrew the United States from the TPP last January. The eleven remaining countries, including Canada, have been in talks since then, with Japanese officials pushing especially hard to salvage the trade pact.

Under the current TPP framework, Canada granted a small amount of access to its supply managed sectors over five years.  The deal-in-principle saw Canada open up its market access by 3.25 per cent for dairy, 2.3 per cent for eggs, 2.1 per cent for chicken, 2 per cent for turkey, and 1.5 per cent for hatching eggs.

Ottawa made it known this week Canada is looking to amend three sections of the TPP: intellectual property, supply management and cultural exemptions. Specific details about the changes Canada is seeking have not been made public.

Officials from the United States, Australia and New Zealand had all demanded access to Canada’s dairy industry during the TPP negotiations. Both Australia and New Zealand remain part of the TPP talks.

Australia and New Zealand both export dairy products. “Its certain they will push, but I’m telling you Canada must defend itself, to protect producers — to not give access for the sake of giving access,” Lampron said when asked whether those two nations would be open to the changes Canada wants on the dairy file.

The federal government’s sudden push for a more progressive TPP deal comes just days before the eleven remaining members are set to meet at the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in Vietnam. Japanese officials have said they want to finalize a TPP-11 framework at that meeting.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters Tuesday that Canada won’t “be rushed” into a TPP deal.

“We believe that progressive, solid trade deals can help citizens in all sorts of different countries, at different levels of development and our ministers are very much focused on that,” he said. “But let me, of course, remind everyone that Canada will not be rushed into a deal that is not in the best interests of Canada and of Canadians.”

Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay told reporters “discussions are going on” at the TPP table. “We have people who are quite capable of handling the situation,” he said. “I’m not going to indicate what will or will not happen at the negations. That would be inappropriate.”


Source: IPolitics


Summer 2018