5 Nations beef producers back TPP

Free trade has got a boost with Five Nations beef producers agreeing to core principles in support of the Trans Pacific Partnership.

An alliance of cattle producers representing Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States have signed a letter announcing their support for a comprehensive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

“Beef + Lamb New Zealand is delighted to be a signatory to this Five Nations Beef Alliance Joint Communique that outlines core principles to ensure the TPP negotiations fulfill the promise of a high-quality agreement that can serve as a standard for future trade agreements,” said Mike Petersen, chairman of Beef + Lamb New Zealand.

“The TPP needs to be an ambitious, high quality, comprehensive agreement, with no product or sector exclusions, address non-tariff barriers, and be enforceable. The more we can work together with our international counterpart organizations on these trade issues the more likely it is to result in a win-win for all.”

“As a collective global beef industry, if we are going to feed a growing world population we need to facilitate the open and unrestricted trade of food around the world,” said Cattle Council president Andrew Ogilvie, from Kingston SE in South Australia.

“By removing trade barriers and tariffs to create fair and open access for all nations, the world’s population will have equal opportunity to a reliable and safe food supply without trade barriers inflating the cost of that food.”

The agreement is based on 10 core principles, ensuring any agreement must be comprehensive and must eliminate all tariffs and market access barriers while emphasizing the importance of unfettered trade.

“Working to achieve a TPP without product exclusions, especially in agriculture, that also eliminates tariffs and other market access barriers in the TPP region, is a goal worth striving for,” said Canadian Cattlemen’s Association president Martin Unrau, a cow-calf producer from MacGregor, Manitoba.

“I am pleased to see momentum building in the TPP negotiations and am hopeful we can achieve a comprehensive result soon.”

The agreement also relies on risk based scientific decision making, based on international science-based standards.

“We are a strong supporter of this agreement and others like it, on the grounds that they increase market access and provide stable export markets based in internationally recognized scientific standards,” said National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president Scott George, a cattle and dairy producer from Cody, Wyo.

“With 96 per cent of the global population living outside of the United States, it is essential that we take measures to enable trade and expand market access, both to stimulate the economy and more importantly, to feed a growing global population.”

The Five Nations Beef Alliance is also asking the negotiating countries to push for arrangements where beef producers are all treated the same.

The Five Nations Beef Alliance comprises Beef + Lamb New Zealand, the Cattle Council of Australia, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Confederacion Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Together, the alliance represents producers from countries that account for one-third of global beef production and approximately half of global beef exports.

This is significant progress towards freer trade that will benefit producers and consumers.

New Zealanders have been farming without subsidies and tariff protection since for nearly 30 years.

The transition was abrupt and painful but I know no-one who wants to go back to the bad old days when we were answerable to politicians and bureaucrats rather than markets.

Farmers in many other countries have been slow to realise the benefits of free trade and those in North America have, unitl now,  been particularly reluctant to lose the protections they have.

The agreement to the principles by Canadian, Mexican and USA producers is a huge break through.The FNBA’s overriding principle is to exceed global consumers’ expectations in respect of beef, while eliminating non-scientific and political trade restrictions.fnba

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