Canada’s beef producers are patiently, and uneasily, waiting for the federal government to pass the bill to become a partner in the Trans-Pacific trade agreement which would revamp industry access to these important overseas markets. Black Press files

Canadian beef industry awaiting Trans-Pacific agreement approval

Singapore makes three countries having passed deal, Canada slowly moving toward it

The organization that leads the effort in promoting this country’s beef industry is continuing its push for approval of a significant international trade agreement.

Late last month, the Canadian Cattleman’s Association (CCA) once again called on the federal government to swiftly ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), following Singapore becoming the third country to sign onto the agreement. Mexico and Japan were the first two countries to approve the deal.

That means just three more countries are needed to sign on for the deal to be triggered.

For the CCA, it’s important for Canada to become one of those first six signatories.

“Time is of the essence for Canada,” the organization stated in a press release.

”Canada must be among the first six countries to ratify to the landmark (deal) if Canada’s beef, red meat and agricultural sectors are to have a leg up on competitors.”

While the federal government has, in the past two months, twice indicated it is on track to be one of those initial six to ratify the agreement, the CCA is rather skeptical given the extended timeline of debate on the bill to approve the deal.

”How is it possible for Canada to be on track to be in the first six, when three countries have already moved so quickly,” the release explained.

“Yet, Canada’s implementation Bill C-79 has had only first reading in the House of Commons, no action in the Senate and Parliament is in summer recess until September 17.”

In addition, the CCA noted that four other countries — Australia, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand — appear to be ready to sign around the same time as Canada and one big reason why Canada needs to ratify it sooner than later.

While the CCA agrees the bill should go through the normal processes, approval also needs to be a top priority for the government and make things go as quickly as possible. This includes the government granting a July 19 request from Conservative and official opposition leader Andrew Scheer for an emergency summer session to pass Bill C-79.

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