March 7, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) - The federal government has begun three months of consultations about a potential free trade agreement with China. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced exploratory discussions in September.
The Government of Canada is now looking for feedback from individuals, businesses, civil society organizations, labour unions, academics, indigenous groups and provincial and territorial governments. Consultations are open until June 2 and the CPC will submit comments.
"Trade agreements have great importance to Canada's pork producers who work hard to develop a global reputation as a reliable supplier of safe, wholesome, high-quality pork," says CPC chair Rick Bergmann. "With 70 per cent of Canada's hog industry's output being exported, international market opportunities like China creates stable jobs across the country, attracts investments and contributes to growing the economy."
The Chinese market is Canada's second-largest single-nation trading partner, after the United States, and it is a growing market. Canada currently exports over 326,000 tonnes of pork and pork products to China each year with Canadian pork imports into China increasing by 144 per cent (184,510 tonnes) in 2016.
"Pork is a very popular meat in China and it is estimated that the average Chinese person consumes about 41 kilograms of pork per year," says Bergmann. "In comparison, Canadians eat approximately 22 kilograms per person."
The CPC is committed to working to build a strong relationship with China. Steps already taken include Canadian Pork International opening an office in Shanghai and launching the Verified Canadian Pork brand in Beijing and Hong Kong in 2016. This year, the CPI will support member promotions to further develop the pork market in China.
The CPC serves as the national voice for hog producers in Canada. It is a federation of nine provincial pork industry associations representing approximately 7,000 hog farms, producing 25.5 million animals a year and generating over $13 billion in economic activity. The 31,000 farm jobs they create contribute to the total direct, indirect and induced $23.8 billion and 103,000 jobs across the country. The organization's purpose is to play a leadership role in achieving and maintaining a dynamic and prosperous Canadian pork sector.
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Public Relations Manager
Canadian Pork Council
(t) (613) 236-9239 ext 277