A few weeks ago I went to the BC Food Processors Association meeting . With all the media about how bad CETA was going to be I wanted to see if there was a shred of positive. I mean- there’s got to be a reason for doing this right?
Plus I hate it when I hear faceless people complaining without offering real solutions. Frankly it’s a waste of my time.
So I went to the event. I have to say- it was quite the eye opener.
They had Monica Gervais who is the Senior Manager of Trade Policy and Negotiations from the BC Ministry of International Trade give us the run down. Afterwards, she shared her slides with me and I gleaned some good info for those of us who want to see the opportunities (and potential threats) in time to course correct and take advantage. (See below for links or call me)
Some of this info should find its way into your Strategic Planning or SWOT assessments- and its about more than just food!
It was a pretty long talk with lots of detail so I’ll give an overview here. If you want more detail, let me know, or see the links below.
To set the context, it turns out Canada has been pretty aggressive at pursuing free trade agreements. There are 3 that came up at the meeting.
· Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA)
· Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
· Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
I had heard about the CETA deal about 6 or 7 years ago when the Italian Chamber of Commerce did a cross-Canada road show on it. I’ll focus on CETA here…
So its coming into effect in 2017 and covers….
Monica Gervais pointed out that Canada is the only G7 country with preferential access to both the EU and USA ( we’ll see what the new US prez really does about that)
Here’s some more detail for your Christmas, Hannukah and New Years Eve trivia convos……
· The CETA agreement will eliminate tariffs on some key BC goods including Agri-foods products
· 94 percent of agriculture products going to the EU will be duty-free, including:
-->Fresh and Frozen fruit (9 to 12 percent)…. That’s good for our for Okanagan Apples
-->frozen, fresh, and processed blueberries (tariffs up to 9.6 percent)… that’s great for most of Richmond and Pitt Meadows
-->Processed Fruits and Vegetables such as dried cranberries (14 to 17.6 percent) …Again Richmond!
o Cherries (up to 12 percent) …that’s great for the Interior
o Mushrooms (up to 18.4 percent) …I’m assuming the legit kind !
· It will also Reduce non-tariff barriers like:
-->Sanitary and Phytosanitary Committee
· Improves labour mobility: business professionals, technicians
-->Hmmm …. Some labor markets in Vancouver/BC are already super tight here.
* The implications here should be part of all Strategic Planning conversations going forward
· Improves access to government procurement to the local government level: a $3.7 trillion market in the EU
· Supports collaboration, sharing knowledge and research in science, technology and innovation
--> Hmm…I wonder what this will do for SRED Credits. Ill have to ask Kevin Wong at Stonecracker Law
Ok this was a bit of a long one, but that’s what you get for reading a blog post about government policies….I’m pretty sure this will be a polarizing topic, but , I cant simply choose to ignore it if my clients ask me about it, right?
If you have thoughts, or helpful links, definitions, or clarity, PLEASE let us all know here.
You can read this and my other articles on my blog here