CCA applauds successful trade mission to China

Calgary, AB – Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) Vice President David Haywood-Farmer was in Beijing today with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne as some long awaited and very welcome news for Canadian beef producers was delivered.

Building on the work achieved during Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay’s recent agricultural trade mission to China, Prime Minister Trudeau and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced agreement to expand access for Canadian beef into China.

China will allow the importation of Canadian fresh-chilled beef in a pilot project, and establish the documentation to enable bone-in beef trade. Previously Canadian beef exports had been limited to frozen boneless beef, with bone-in access approved in principle last year, subject to establishing the documentation requirements. Canada and China today committed to fully implementing the 2016 agreement to expand market access for Canadian frozen bone-in beef.

As to a free trade agreement between Canada and China, the Prime Minister and Premier committed to continue exploring the potential for launching negotiations for a possible agreement.

The expanded beef access is important for Canada’s producers, said Haywood-Farmer. There is massive potential for Canadian beef in China, with a Chinese middle class several times larger than the entire Canadian population and growing. “I am happy to say that their demand for beef is also growing and Canadian ranchers are glad to have more opportunity to supply them, thanks to the expanded access announced today by Prime Minister Trudeau,” he said. “If we can someday reach a free trade agreement, our objective would be to eliminate the Chinese tariffs on Canadian beef as well.”

Even with the previous limitations and significant Chinese import tariff, annual Canadian beef exports have been growing since access was established in 2012. In 2016, $61 million of Canadian beef was exported to China, and 2017 is on track to reach $100 million in Canadian beef exports to China.

The CCA and Canada Beef estimate that the new access announced today could be worth $125 million in additional beef exports to China over the next five years.

Currently, Canadian beef cuts are subject to a 12 per cent Chinese import tariff. New Zealand and Australia implemented free trade agreements with China in 2008 and 2015 respectively. New Zealand beef is already duty-free in China, while Australian beef cuts will be down to 7.2 per cent duty in 2018 reaching zero by 2024. Canadian beef exporters are seeking the opportunity to regain parity on Chinese import tariffs with our Australian and New Zealand competitors.

“These are the kind of results the Canadian beef sector needs to meet the Prime Minister’s target of achieving $75 billion in annual agriculture exports,” noted Haywood-Farmer.

For further information, contact:
Gina Teel | Communications Manager
Canadian Cattlemen’s Association
403-275-8558 x 306 | teelg@cattle.ca