Nfld. & Labrador

Province says new TPP deal could resolve CETA sore spot

The new Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal should prompt Ottawa to resolve the long-standing CETA dispute with Newfoundland and Labrador, says Minister Darin King.

Treat all sectors and regions alike, says Minister Darin King

Farmers will be compensated under a new pacific trade deal, and the N.L. government thinks the same rules should apply to the fishery under CETA. (CBC)

The new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal should prompt the federal government to resolve a long-standing dispute with Newfoundland and Labrador about a similar deal with Europe, according to the province's Minister of Business Darin King.

King said Wednesday the TPP will reduce the tariff on Canadian seafood products sold to Asian markets, something provincial negotiators pushed for.

"At first blush, from what I've seen, it looks very positive," said King.

The TPP will also have an impact on other industries. For example, dairy farmers gave up 3.25 per cent of their annual production.

While the concessions will result in lost revenue, the federal government has announced a compensation package to minimize the effects on dairy, poultry and egg farmers.

A new $450-million processor modernization fund will encourage capital investments and other improvements.

Treat everyone alike, says King

King said that is what Newfoundland and Labrador negotiated for the fishery under the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union, to offset the loss of minimum processing requirements.

However, Ottawa and the province have argued over conditions attached to the fund, with the federal government saying it will only provide compensation for "demonstrated losses."

Business Minister Darin King says all sectors and regions should be treated alike in trade deals. (CBC)

Both King and Premier Paul Davis accused the Harper government of reneging on its word.

"The fact that the feds have now said it's OK in other sectors to provide compensation before demonstrating loss to me indicates that they recognize they have to find a way forward with Newfoundland and Labrador," said King.

"I'm confident the feds are gonna see that there's no way you can treat one sector or region of the country different than another when it comes to trade deals."  

King said this province believes the CETA is "a great deal for Newfoundland and Labrador."

The province has not yet seen the text of the TPP, which creates a 12-nation trading bloc with countries such as Japan, Australia and New Zealand. King said he will reserve final comment until then.

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