January 24, 2018 (OTTAWA) – Chicken farmers in Canada are concerned about the impact of decisions taken at the conclusion of discussions on the new Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) agreement.
The agreement includes concessions on market access for chicken products that were granted in the original Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in response to U.S. demands. Given that the U.S. has since withdrawn from the TPP, those concessions should have been taken off the table. This is especially true since none of the other partners have provided anything in exchange for this increased access to the Canadian chicken market.
The new CPTPP access represents an additional 2.1% of the Canadian production that will be imported, in addition to Canada’s existing commitments of 7.5% for a total of 9.6%.
“It is more important than ever that the government start closing the loopholes and implementing the programs that were previously promised when the TPP was first concluded,” said Benoît Fontaine, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada, referring to commitments, made in October 2015, to deliver the support programs and implement the anti-circumvention measures relating to chicken. These include mislabeled broiler chicken imported as spent fowl, the addition of sauce to circumvent import quotas and excluding supply-managed products from DRP (duties relief program) to stop the loopholes announced at the conclusion of the original agreement.
Together, the circumventions have resulted in annual losses of:
“Increased access to the Canadian chicken market, especially without gaining something in return, is going to impact jobs from coast to coast,” said Fontaine. “These programs will help lessen the damage being done by the giving away of our market access.”
Fontaine adds, “We need to make it clear that we have reached the limit of what we can give in any future negotiations. If the U.S. wants access to our market, for example, they are welcome to rejoin the CPTPP.”
Chicken Farmers of Canada represents the 2,800 chicken farmers from coast to coast, and ensures that the Canadian chicken that consumers want is safe, delicious, and raised to the highest standards.
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Marty Brett, Senior Corporate Communications Officer