Thursday, January 7, 2016

UG prof. believes Canada will sign TPP

University of Guelph professor Karl Meilke says he’s “confident that after a respectable delay Canada will ratify the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) trade deal.

“Still, (Prime Minister Justin) Trudeau will face some opposition in his own party” and ”consumer protectionism among the elite, economic nationalism and fear of enhanced globalization among the general population will make passage challenging for a new Prime Minister,” Meilke writes in a paper for an economic journal.

The same will be true in other TPP nations, including the United States.

“I hope I am wrong, but don’t be surprised if the ratification and implementation of the TPP is delayed for an extended period of time in spite of its benefits for Canadians and Canadian agriculture,” he writes.

He cites an economic paper that built a model to conclude that Canada will both import and export more agricultural products and food.

Canada’s exports will increase by about $1 billion per year, with meat accounting for about half of that and processed foods for about 25 per cent. 

Canada's biggest agricultural gains will be in exports to Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Canada’s meat production will increase by about half of one per cent and milk production will decline by about 2.5 per cent by 2025.

But two of the key benefits are enforceable rules of trade, a huge benefit to a relatively weaker country such as Canada compared with the United States and Japan, and access to the other 11 countries’ markets at the same tariff rates as our competitors in the TPP.

If, for example, Canada stays out and the U.S. gains the TPP’s lower tariff rates to countries such as Japan, Canada might not be able to sell anything there.

An article about Meilke’s paper appears in the current issue of FARE published online by the University of Guelph.