Government of Canada fails to meet Canadian beef industry needs with CPTPP accession deal

Ottawa, ON – The Canadian Cattle Association (CCA) is disappointed the Government of Canada announced yesterday that Canada has reached a market access agreement that will form the basis for the United Kingdom (UK) to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) without achieving viable access for Canadian beef to the UK.

While full details of the deal remain unavailable at this time, we are aware that other members of the CPTPP have achieved unlimited beef access in their bilateral agreements with the UK. We have been informed that similar access for Canada is “off the table”. There is also no current progress being made to address the main obstacle to the UK market – the full acceptance of Canada’s meat hygiene system which is widely recognized as one of the finest in the world. CCA will draw a hard line that this barrier must be addressed in Canada’s bilateral agreement with the UK.

“Yesterday’s announcement of the UK’s accession to the CPTPP further disadvantages Canadian beef producers and is fundamentally unjust,” said Nathan Phinney, CCA President. “If the Government of Canada brings a ratification bill to Parliament without addressing the UK barriers to Canadian beef, CCA will approach all Parliamentarians to defeat that bill.”

At present, the terms of access for Canada-UK beef trade are those inherited from the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) established between Canada and the European Union (EU) in 2017. When the UK departed the EU, a temporary agreement was reached to continue to apply the CETA provisions to Canada-UK trade until a permanent agreement could be reached.

Under these continuing terms, British beef has access to Canada at a 0 per cent tariff in unlimited quantities; Canadian beef has access to the UK at a 0 per cent tariff within the limits of a tariff rate quota. The TRQ limits on Canadian beef are 2708 tonnes fresh and 1161 tonnes frozen annually.

For 2021, the UK exported 2733 tonnes of beef valued at C$16.3 million to Canada. For 2022, UK beef exports to Canada grew to 4414 tonnes for C$33.2 million. By contrast, Canada exported 657 tonnes of beef valued at C$7.6 million to the UK in 2021 and zero in 2022.

To date, CCA has supported negotiations with the UK to rectify the lop-sided benefits that British beef producers enjoy under the pre-existing agreement to ensure true reciprocity and access to each other’s markets to create a win-win for both industries and consumers across both markets.

The CPTPP has been an excellent agreement thus far with the initial participants implementing a high standard for trade liberalization. CCA believes that an agreement with the UK that leaves a significant barrier in place does not meet the standard of the CPTPP and the UK’s bid to join should be rejected until they can do better to meet the progressive trade principles of the CPTPP.

For further information, contact:
Michelle McMullen
Communications Manager
Canadian Cattle Association
403-451-0931| [email protected]

For a PDF of the news release, click here.