CANADA - Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement talks have been successfully completed, allowing access for Canadian meat exports to a new market.
The Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the completion of the negotiations on Tuesday following discussions with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk.
Once the Agreement enters into force, Canada and Ukraine will immediately eliminate duties on 99.9 per cent and 86 per cent of respective current imports, thereby benefiting both Canadian and Ukrainian exporters and consumers.
The Agreement will result in the elimination of all Ukrainian tariffs on industrial goods, forestry and wood products, fish and seafood products, as well as the elimination of the vast majority of Ukraine’s agricultural tariffs.
Canadian agriculture exporters will benefit from duty-free access for beef, pulses, grains, canola oil, processed foods and animal feed. Canadian pork producers will benefit from improved access to Ukraine’s market via a large tariff rate quota.
“Our Government has shown an unwavering commitment to ensuring the stability and security of Ukraine. Today’s conclusion of the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement is another milestone in the important relationship between our two countries.
"We remain committed to creating the best conditions for Canadian companies to succeed abroad, as well as to ensure jobs and opportunities across our country,” said Mr Harper.
When fully implemented, the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement will provide duty-free access to Ukraine for an unlimited quantity of beef and veal, duty-free access for 20,000 tonnes of frozen pork, and duty-free access for an unlimited quantity of fresh chilled pork.
In 2014, Canada exported to Ukraine 25 tonnes of beef and veal products valued at $ 47,000 and 2,031 tonnes of pork valued at $ 4.4 million.
The Canadian meat industry welcomed the agreement.
“I am very pleased that the Canadian government has completed the negotiation of a free trade agreement with Ukraine,” said Canadian Meat Council President Joe Reda.
“A survey of Canada’s meat processors has confirmed the existence of a long term interest in trade with Ukraine, not only as a supplier of high quality protein to Ukraine’s 45 million citizens, but also in the context of Ukraine’s access to the European Union and its trade with the countries of eastern Europe,” added Mr Reda.
“The maximisation of carcass value requires admission to the particular market in which a specific meat product is in greatest demand at a given time. For this reason, a strategic priority of Canada’s export-dependent meat industry is competitive access to every country in the world,” said Canadian Meat Council Executive Director Jim Laws.
“The eventual entry into force of a free trade agreement with Ukraine will represent another concrete step toward the realization of this important industry objective,” added Mr Laws.
Canada’s meat processing industry includes some 400 federally registered establishments, providing safe, high quality protein for Canadian consumers as well as adding jobs and contributing to economic activity in both rural and urban communities across Canada.
With annual sales of $23.6 billion, beef exports of $1.9 billion, pork exports of $3.7 billion and 65,000 jobs, the Canadian meat industry is the largest component of the country’s food processing sector.ThePoultrySite News Desk