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Conclusion Still Not Reached on Trans-Pacific Partnership

04 August 2015

GLOBAL - The recent talks on a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement between countries on the Pacific rim ended without a conclusion, although ministers still say consensus is near.

The Australian Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb, said: “We all went to Hawaii with the aim of concluding and while we didn’t quite get there we are definitely on the cusp. Most importantly the resolve remains to get this done.”

He added that this had been the most productive meeting on the TPP that he had been involved with so far, but some aspects including agricultural issues are still sticking points.

“From Australia’s perspective we have made significant gains across every area, including agricultural market access," Mr Robb said.

"There are a handful of big outstanding issues that directly affect us as well some moving parts involving other countries in areas like automotives, data protection around biologics, dairy and also sugar."

New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser expressed disappointment at the lack of resolution, saying: "Good progress was made this week, but a number of challenging issues remain, including intellectual property and market access for dairy products.

“We will continue to work toward a successful conclusion. This is about getting the best possible deal for New Zealand, not a deal at any cost.”

The Canadian system of supply management for poultry and dairy products has been controversial recently, but poultry producers are determined to put forward their side of the story.

The supply management system in Canada controls the amounts of these products produced domestically and limits imports. Recently the system has caused controversy because some see it as incompatible with the TPP.

Chicken Farmers of Canada said recently that producers "have endured a concerted attack on the system that brings Canadians the dairy, poultry and egg products they trust."

In a statement, the organisation said that as pressure to conclude TPP negotiations mounts, "So does rhetoric and the proliferation of misperceptions surrounding supply management through certain attacks in the media, and by some think tanks and those with vested interests."

It said that farmers aimed to "address these myths" and provided a lot of information about the positive aspects of supply management, which can be found in their full press release here.

TheCattleSite News Desk

Top image via Shutterstock


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