Beef industry could benefit from U.S. absence in TPP, says chair of Sask. Cattlemen's Association

Canada's participation in the new Trans-Pacific Partnership, which doesn't include the U.S., gives the country's beef industry a 'huge advantage' in trade, according to Ryan Beierbach.

Ryan Beierbach said more Canadian beef could make its way into Japan, where U.S. and Australia are big players

Ryan Beierbach said the deal will bring down tariffs on Canadian beef when dealing with Japan. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

Canadian beef producers — and Saskatchewan, by extension — stand to benefit from the U.S. absence in the newly resurrected Trans-Pacific Partnership. 

Ryan Beierbach, chair of the Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Association, said more Canadian beef could make its way into Japan, where Australia and the U.S. are big beef players.

He estimates Canada currently exports less than 10 per cent of what the Americans and Australians export to Japan. 

"That gives us a huge advantage into a market where the U.S. has traditionally been one of the biggest players," he said. 

Ryan Beierbach said the TPP deal will be beneficial for the beef industry and Canadian agriculture in general. (CBC)

U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the original Trans-Pacific Partnership in January 2017, a move that had, up until this point, derailed the deal and all but killed it.

Once the revised deal is signed, Canada could see lower tariffs when exporting beef to Japan, which will bring them closer in line with Australia, Beierbach said. 

Tariffs were raised on Canadian beef, and other countries, in 2017 from 38.5 per cent to 50 per cent. Australia has a trade deal with Japan and their tariffs are just over 27 per cent.

"Personally, I see it as probably the biggest trade deal we've had since the Canada-U.S. free trade deal," Beierbach said.

Beierbach said the U.S. will still be the largest export market for Canadian beef, but once the deal is signed some of the beef that would normally go south will head overseas. Canadian beef may also displace some American beef in Japan, he added.

With files from Jill Morgan