February 15, 2018 4:00 pm
Updated: February 15, 2018 4:03 pm

Canadian food industry concerned feds dragging heels on ratifying new TPP

Canada's Minister of International Trade Chrystia Freeland speaks at a press conference at the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

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Canadian food producers are concerned that the federal government may be dragging its heels on ratifying the newly rebooted Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), saying that could hurt their ability to penetrate new markets.

Their concern stems from testimony today by International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, who says he doesn’t see Parliament ratifying the 11-country Pacific Rim trade pact before
this fall.

READ MORE: Canada, remaining TPP members reach revised trade agreement without U.S.

Champagne says Canada intends to formally sign the new TPP deal next month, but its formal ratification – which would put it into force – likely won’t take place until this fall.

The heads of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association said that would place domestic food producers at a competitive disadvantage.

That’s because only six of the 11 TPP countries have to ratify the deal for it to come into force.

Champagne says he was being realistic because there’s a full slate of business before the House of Commons and Senate.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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