Trade Expected to Be Top of Mind in 2019

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Farmscape for December 19, 2018

Full Interview 8:08 Listen

The Chair of the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board says matters related to international trade will be among the key issues the Canadian pork sector will be watching moving through 2019. During 2018, the completion of the Comprehensive Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement and tariffs placed on U.S. pork by China and Mexico made trade a top of mind issue among Canadian pork producers.
Casey Smit, the Chair of the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board, says trade is always important to the pork sector.

Clip-Casey Smit-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board:
Canada is a nation that exports 70 percent approximately of the pork that it produces so we’re always at a vulnerable position when it comes to exports, to ensure that it continues to flow. The CPTPP is a key trade agreement for Canada which gives us a leg up on our U.S. counterparts which is very important. When you look at the U.S. it’s a country that exports probably around 25 percent so they’re in a much different position so exports for us are critical.
Then, with the trade tariffs that occurred over the summer, it became that much more critical when we were able to expand some of our exports to Mexico for example. I think the CPTPP, getting that ratified as one of the first six nations to get it ratified, which we’re on track for, that will see some of the tariffs come off on the countries that we export to within that group. The USMCA, which is the North American Free Trade Agreement, we need to get that ratified as well. That allows trade to continue to flow between all of our three North American nations which is positive for all industries, including the hog sector.

Smit acknowledges continued expansion of U.S. pork production will mean increased U.S. competition but he believes the quality of Canadian pork and the programs that support that quality will be key to improving exports moving forward.

For Farmscape.Ca, I’m Bruce Cochrane.

       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork

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