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Passing of Bill C-79 could result in increased wheat and barley exports through CPTPP in early 2019

The Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions applaud the House of Commons and Senate for their quick action on passing Bill C-79 which allows for the Canadian ratification of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-pacific Partnership (CPTPP). This legislation paves the way for Canadian farmers to see increased export volumes that could result in higher farm revenues as early as spring 2019. 

The federal government’s passage of this legislation means Canada could meet the December 31 deadline that would lock in a full year’s head start on the reduction or elimination of tariffs. It would also secure Canada’s place as one of the first six countries to join the agreement ensuring Canada is among the first wave of countries to enjoy preferential market access. The Commissions applaud federal Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr’s efforts in seeing this legislation prioritized. 

“Today’s announcement is historic for Canadian farmers,” said Jason Lenz, Alberta Barley Chair. “We appreciate the federal government’s commitment to seeing Canadian exports reach their potential which includes significant growth opportunities for Canadian barley, particularly in the Japanese market.”

Exports to countries within the CPTPP zone are already valued at more than $1.5 billion in farm revenues for wheat exports and are expected to grow. Barley exports are estimated to reach an additional $100 million in exports or 400-500 thousand tonnes.

“Canadian wheat is highly dependent on our global export markets,” said Kevin Bender, AWC Chair. “The CPTPP not only levels the playing field with our major competitors but also provides opportunity for better returns for farmers.”   

For Canada, new market opportunities for wheat and barley exports within the CPTPP zone include:

  • Canadian wheat farmers will gain a major advantage over U.S. wheat entering into Japan – one of Canada’s biggest markets – since the U.S. is no longer part of the agreement.
  • The CPTPP levels the playing field between Canada and Australia and New Zealand for exports to Japan since these two countries have pre-existing bilateral agreements with Japan. 
  • Canadian barley will see increased demand within domestic markets since Canadian beef exports are one of the largest projected export gains.

Signatory countries that have ratified or are close to ratifying the CPTPP include Mexico, Japan, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. The full potential of this agreement also includes Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, Chile, and Brunei Darussalam. Together, countries within the CPTPP zone represent a market of 500 million people and 13.6 per cent of the global GDP.

Media Contact: 
Victoria Decker
Communications Manager
Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions