The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens


Obama announces Canada to join TPP negotiations

President Barack Obama announced today that the countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiation have decided to let Canada join the negotiations. That announcement followed the news Monday that Mexico would join the group.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Vice President Bob McCan praised the decision.

“NCBA welcomes the addition of Canada to the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” McCan said. “Canada is the top export market for U.S. beef. Our strong trade relationship with our neighbors to the North has been a win-win for cattlemen and consumers in both countries and Canada’s entry into TPP negotiations will only strengthen our trade relationship. Their participation in TPP is absolutely vital to creating a trade environment free from protectionist trade barriers. With American allies like Canada and Mexico at the table, TPP will strengthen bonds between nations and encourage global security in the Pacific Rim.”

The National Foreign Trade Council said, “Canada and Mexico are two of the United States’ top five trading partners. With the inclusion of both countries in the TPP agreement, U.S. exporters and the millions of Americans they employ stand to benefit greatly from strong North American representation in the talks.”

The International Dairy Foods Association applauded the inclusion of both Canada and Mexico, but noted that there are differences between the two countries in attitudes toward trade.

“IDFA strongly supports Canada’s entry into the TPP because it will grant an opportunity to open trade in its restricted dairy sector, which has mostly been excluded under NAFTA,” said John Kelly, IDFA manager of international affairs. “By contrast, Mexico has been an excellent trading partner to the U.S. dairy industry; it fully opened its dairy market to U.S. exports under NAFTA.”

IDFA said the dairy processor group remains adamant that Canada must reform its milk supply management system if the TPP is to maintain the goal of a high-standard and comprehensive agreement,

“By its very nature, the Canadian milk supply management system effectively closes the country's dairy market to imports,” said Kelly.

But the Citizens Trade Campaign said that inviting Canada and Mexico to join the TPP talks means that the proposed pact “now officially dwarfs NAFTA in size and scope.”

The group urged its supporters to contact members of Congress and tell them, “We can't afford a “NAFTA of the Pacific.”