NCFA says Trans-Pacific Partnership vital to trade

CALGARY, Nov. 21, 2011 /CNW/ - The National Cattle Feeder's Association (NCFA) is encouraged by the statements from Prime Minister Harper about joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Asia is vital to the growth of the Canadian beef industry and "access to off shore markets, especially in the Pacific Rim, will help us rebuild our beef herd, which has shrunk to 1994 levels," says Bill Jameson, Chairman of the NCFA.

While some countries are continuing to hold onto unrealistic market restrictions based on past BSE cases in Canada, there are hopeful signs that market access will be less restrictive. China is opening the door and Japan may relax restrictions; however, "Canada will have to be aggressive in countries like Korea, which still block Canadian beef," says Jameson.  "These are large and growing markets that will need more Canadian beef to fill a growing demand for high quality protein."

Despite growing global demand for protein, Canada has had trouble maximizing its access to many markets due to a divisive domestic trade policy. On one hand Canada is insisting on access for our exports, but on the other is refusing to consider opening our own borders.

"When we look at major multi-lateral opportunities like the Trans-Pacific Partnership it is critical for Canada to put everything on the table to start negotiations," said Mr. Jameson. "If we want meaningful trade agreements we cannot go into talks with one hand tied behind our back."

Canada exports approximately one third of all the beef produced here, making exports critical to the success of the sector and the thousands of jobs in the value added feed and processing industries associated with beef.

"We whole-heartedly support Prime Minister Harper and his government for their work in opening markets around the world and look forward to a successful result in the TPP as well," concluded Mr. Jameson.

SOURCE National Cattle Feeders' Association

For further information:

Bill Jameson
(306) 631-0005

Bryan Walton
General Manager
(403) 837-2232

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National Cattle Feeders' Association

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