Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Harper determined to conclude TPP trade deal

Prime Minister Stephen Harper emerged Monday from meetings with leaders of nations involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade negotiations, pledging his commitment to conclude a deal.

In joint statements after, the leaders said the gaps have been narrowed and they are coming close to a deal on legal language for a deal.

One of the meetings was with U.S. President Barrack Obama who talked optimistically about reaching a deal.

Another was with Japanese Prime Minister Shino Abe after which they issued a statement saying they agree that they need a trade deal.

Japan and Canada are under heavy pressure from the others, especially Australia, New Zealand and the U.S., to lower trade barriers to imports of agricultural products. In Canada’s case, it’s dairy and poultry products.

The pressure on dairy and poultry farmers comes in two basic forms – increasing the percentage of the Canadian market open to low tariffs and reducing tariffs that are 150 to 300 per cent.

Other Canadian farmers are optimistic about making gains from the negotiations, particularly exports of pork and beef to Japan.