… CPTPP's real prize, Canadian exporters say, are reduced Japanese tariffs for beef, pork, wheat and canola oil. Japan is the world's third-largest beef importer…
Pacific Trade Deal Spurs Canadian Farm Sales to Japan as U.S. Watches
By Rod Nickel, Reuters
via U.S. News World Report - Jan. 10, 2019
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - At the Canadian embassy in Tokyo last month, beef promoters flew in a chef from Canada to cook New York strip steaks for hungry Japanese importers and restaurant suppliers.
The annual Canadian beef buffet reception attracted 126 people, up sharply from the usual 30 to 40.
A trade deal among Pacific nations - called the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) - took effect on Dec. 30 among the first six of 11 member countries to ratify it, including Canada, Japan and Australia.
CPTPP's real prize, Canadian exporters say, are reduced Japanese tariffs for beef, pork, wheat and canola oil. Japan is the world's third-largest beef importer and seventh-largest wheat buyer, often buying top-quality supplies to meet consumer demand for soft, white breads and beef raised on grain not grass.
For Canada, following a year of volatile relations with the United States and China, the deal offers a rare opportunity to seize market share from the United States, which withdrew from the pact after President Donald Trump took office.
Canada's opportunity illustrates the risks of Trump’s drastic trade actions. Farmers are key Trump supporters, but they have been among the hardest-hit from a trade war with China.
U.S. beef packers such as Tyson Inc and National Beef Packing Co also stand to lose, while Canadian grain exporters Richardson International and Viterra [VILC.UL] may gain.
At the Tokyo beef buffet, enthusiasm about Canadian beef transcended borders.
"The interest was as high as I've ever seen," said Dennis Laycraft, executive vice president of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, who has been visiting Japan since the 1980s. "This new agreement is one of the most significant opportunities we've seen since the original NAFTA (North American Free Trade) agreement was signed."
Among those sampling Canadian beef were buyers from the Japanese units of Costco Wholesale Corp, Cargill Inc [CARG.UL] and JBS SA [JBSS3.SA], Laycraft said. Costco declined to comment and JBS did not respond.
In a statement, Cargill said it advocates for...