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Statement by Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance on Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Talks

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 05/18/14 -- Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA) President Lisa Skierka today issued the following statement on the status of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks:

"CAFTA calls on negotiators participating in the TPP to re-commit to a comprehensive ambitious agreement that requires all participants-including Canada-to eliminate tariffs on all products.

CAFTA representatives are present at the TPP trade talks in Singapore taking place on May 19 and 20 following their attendance of the TPP meetings in Vietnam last week.

TPP member countries represent 51% of Canada's agri-food exports. Increased market access to these countries, by virtue of a TPP agreement, could offer enormous opportunities for Canadians, and the agriculture value chain, from farmers and ranchers to processors and exporters.

The TPP's true potential is its ability to become a full regional agreement that allows for supply chains through the Asia-Pacific region. To achieve this, TPP ministers must ensure that the final TPP agreement provides for the same tariff phase out period and reduction in tariffs for each tariff line. Without this, exporters could actually have their market access reduced relative to competing exporters in key markets.

Despite the challenges that are to be overcome, CAFTA encourages all negotiators to maintain a high level of ambition toward a successful conclusion of a TPP agreement."

Quick Facts:

--  Canada's agriculture sector exported over $40 billion in 2011. TPP
    member countries represent 51% of Canada's agri-food exports.
--  TPP offers hope of new export opportunities to TPP member countries if
    all countries, including Canada, cut tariffs and limit exceptions for
    sensitive products.
--  Increasing export of Canadian agriculture and agri-food products is
    critical to the prosperity of the close to 500,000 Canadians we directly
    employ.

CAFTA is a coalition of national and regional organizations that support a more open and fair international trading environment for agriculture and agri-food. CAFTA's members include producer organizations, processors, marketers and exporters from the major trade dependent sectors in Canada. Together, these sectors produce almost 80 per cent of Canada's agriculture and agri-food exports, conduct about $40 billion in business annually and directly employ close to 500,000 Canadians.

Contacts:
Janet Hueglin Hartwick
Communications Consultant, CAFTA
905.536.6123

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