Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Trans-Pacific trade talks on this week

Negotiators are meeting this week in Singapore, trying to advance trade deals in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Their political bosses, ministers of trade or heads of state, are due to attend next week.

Reuters news agency says a final deal is unlikely to come out of this set of meetings.

The negotiators have been waiting for the United States and Japan to come to an agreement on key issues – agriculture and autos – and earlier this month Japanese news media reported that a deal has been struck.

It would feature a major decline in Japanese tariffs on beef and pork, but over an extended 20-year period.

Canada’s farmers have a lot at stake in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, mainly gains for beef, pork, grains and oilseeds producers, but increased import competition for dairy and poultry farmers.

Whatever gains are made, Canadians are certain to face keen competition from the U.S., Australia and New Zealand for agriculture markets.