TPP agreement welcomed in UK and Northern Ireland

The successful agreement of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has been welcomed by the UK and Northern Ireland food industry. 

The partnership, which was signed on Monday, will cut trade tariffs and set common standards in member countries.

It is estimated that it will impact 40% of the world economy. It has been largely welcomed by meat bodies from member countries but also praised by UK-based bodies.

A spokesperson for the Food and Drink Federation said: “The conclusion of talks on TPP should provide a boost to TTIP and EU-Japan talks, which offer huge potential gains for UK food and drink exporters. It also draws into focus the importance of EU addressing the slow pace of its own negotiations, given the risk EU exporters could miss out in these lucrative markets.”

TPP members
New Zealand

Ian Stevenson, chief executive of the Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland said it was too soon to say what impact the TPP would have. “On the face of it, 12 countries accounting for 40% of the world’s gross domestic product coming together to agree common standards and ease trade barriers between the participants is a strong signal that world trade is starting to relax a bit more. However, as with all agreements like this the devil will be in the detail and, no doubt, there will be many challenges and opportunities which will emerge as a consequence of this agreement.

“From the perspective of beef and lamb, of the 12 countries that have negotiated the TPP, Northern Irish exporters currently have limited market access for beef and sheep meat to Singapore and sheep meat to Canada.

“As an export-focused region Northern Ireland would be keen to have as much tariff-free access to third-country markets outside the EU as possible and UK industry and government has been investing resources on trying to secure UK market access for all meats to key countries such as the USA and Japan who are partners in this agreement.”

Meanwhile, AHDB Pork believes the agreement will give TPP members an advantage over the EU. 

In a statement, it said: 

"In terms of pork, the main importers among TPP signatories are Japan, Australia and Mexico. The US, Canada and Chile are all pork exporters. While trade between Mexico, Canada and the US is already governed by the earlier NAFTA agreement, the new deal could give these exporters an advantage in Japan and Australia. Outside the EU, Japan is the world’s largest pork importer. Last year, the US and Canada supplied around half of Japanese pork imports, a share which has fallen from over 60% in 2012 as shipments from the EU have risen. Mexico and Chile also account for over 10% of Japanese imports between them. The TPP may make it harder for EU exporters to compete on this important market and could see its market share fall again.

"Although Australia is a smaller market, importing just over 140,000 tonnes last year, compared to Japan’s 830,000 tonnes, it too has seen the EU making inroads in recent years. The share of imports from the US and Canada has again fallen from over 60% in 2012 to around half now."

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