KELOWNA – Kelowna MLAs are expressing their support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, one of the largest and most comprehensive trade deals in the world.

“For over 10 years, we have focused on expanding trade and investment ties in Asia, and the results are clear: more benefits, more opportunities, and more wealth and jobs in every corner of the province,” says Premier Christy Clark, MLA for Westside-Kelowna. “The TPP is another step in the right direction.”

B.C.’s Minister of Agriculture and MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country notes benefits will accrue to the entire B.C. agrifoods industry.

“Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam are markets where Canada faces high tariffs and no prior preferential access. The average agricultural tariffs that Canada faces in these countries are 17% in Japan and Vietnam, and 11% in Malaysia,” says Norm Letnick. “The gains from tariff elimination and improved market access for agrifoods companies are significant.”

When it comes to cherries, blueberries and cranberries, tariffs of up to 30% will be eliminated over time in priority markets like Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam—while tariffs as high as 17% on fresh apples will be eliminated over time in those key markets.

Forestry is another area that will see benefits from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

“Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand currently have tariffs ranging between 2.6 and 40% on B.C. wood exports like spruce, pine and fir lumber, oriented strand and plywood,” says Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and MLA for Kelowna-Mission. “These tariffs would all be eliminated over time – making B.C. forest products more affordable for buyers in member markets.”

On April 14, the B.C. Legislature passed a motion in support of Canada’s ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, to raise awareness of the many benefits the Partnership will have for our province.

As a result of the Trans-Pacific Partnership:

  • B.C. exports are expected to increase by $508 million annually ($320 million in exports, $188 million in services).
  • B.C. is expected to gain 2,500 jobs.
  • B.C.’s GDP could increase by as much as $325 million annually.

For more detailed information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, please visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/factsheet-trans-pacific-partnership-agreement-and-bc.