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Pork Industry Welcomes News of Joint Study

by 5m Editor
24 February 2011, at 8:24am

CANADA - The Canadian Pork industry welcomes the news that the Government of Canada is conducting a joint study with the government of Japan on the future of Canada's economic relationship. This study will serve to better inform Canadian representatives what to negotiate should the decision be made to pursue a free trade agreement.

“Pork exports from Canada to Japan have been a major success story and have been steadily increasing each year,“ stated Canadian Pork Council’s Chair, Jurgen Preugschas. “The government will have our full support to seek more liberalized bilateral trade and investment between the two countries.“

“Japan is a very important and expanding market for Canadian pork,“ added Canada Pork International’s president, Edouard Asnong. “Our first office outside of Canada was establishes this year in Tokyo to further strengthen the relationship with our customers and promote the high quality and attributes of Canadian pork.“

The Japanese market is extremely valuable for all Canadian pork industry stakeholders with sales of 225 thousand tones valued at $852 million dollars in 2010. This represents 20 per cent of total Canadian pork exports by volume and 31 per cent in value. Therefore any initiative that could enhance Canada’s and Japan’s relationship and address commercial challenges is particularly welcome.

At the same time, it is hoped that this study does not diminish the importance of resuming Free Trade talks with South Korea. The Canadian pork industry remains concerned that postponing the FTA talks any further would seriously affect the competitiveness of the pork industry. The lack of progress on a FTA with Korea is having a noticeable effect on the country's current market share since all of our key competitors have previously reached or have negotiated FTAs with Korea. It is fair to assume that Canada’s current pork trade with Korea would completely disappear.

If Canada is lagging behind the US and the EU in the implementation of the tariff reduction schedules, the negative impact on Canadian exports will carry throughout the tariff reduction period. Failure to reach an FTA with Korea will cause substantial prejudice to the Canadian pork industry and Canada will become a second class exporter for the next decade due to this tariff gap.