Recently, trade ministers from 12 Pacific countries announced the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.
The TPP will allow canola exports to grow substantially by eliminating tariffs and removing non-tariff barriers such as those related to biotechnology. This will allow the Alberta canola industry to export more, bringing more value to Canada.
“Exports are critical to the canola sector since more than 90% of our canola is exported as seed, oil, or meal,” says Ward Toma, General Manager of the Alberta Canola Producers Commission. “This agreement will eliminate tariffs on canola oil and meal in key export markets such as Japan and Vietnam, enabling Canada to increase our export markets by more than $780 million once the TPP is fully implemented.”
In 2014, more than $1.2 billion in canola seed was exported to Japan. As the tariffs are eliminated, the canola industry estimates that exports will shift increasingly to value added oil and meal, while maintaining the overall volume of canola that is exported.
“The more value our canola is generating overseas, the more value growers will get back right here in Alberta,” says Toma. “ Local rural and urban economies in Alberta and the entire canola value chain will see benefits.”
This agreement also includes commitments to prevent biotechnology related measures from being trade barriers; improves cooperation and transparency around the approval of new biotech traits, and prevents Low Level Presence of approved biotech traits from be used as a barrier.
Implementing the TPP agreement quickly is important for the canola sector as Australia currently has preferential access to ship canola oil to Japan through their bi-lateral free trade agreement. Once the TPP is fully implemented, Canadian canola will be on a level playing field with other oils into Japan.
For more information about the importance of trade to canola in Canada, please visit www.canolacountry.ca.