The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) is welcoming the Government of Canada’s announcement to proceed with free trade negotiations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

“Free trade is an important part of the Canadian beef sector’s economic success,” said CCA President Bob Lowe. “We’re pleased to see progression with ASEAN and look forward to opening new markets for Canadian beef exports.”

Within the ASEAN block, a number of countries are already covered by the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

CCA says an example of trade success within the region can be shown by Vietnam which, since the implementation of CPTPP, has now grown to be a meaningful market for Canadian beef. However, Canadian beef producers are interested in future growth markets and look forward to the ability to increase trade into countries not part of CPTPP, including the Philippines and Thailand.

Canadian beef exports to the Philippines were 1,253 tonnes valued at $5.2 million in 2020, but are up significantly from Jan-Sept 2021 at 4,145 tonnes valued at $11.2 million. Thailand is not currently a market for Canadian beef, however, with the removal of the current 50 per cent tariff on beef, Thailand could become a future growth market.

CCA has also supported trade progression with Indonesia through the Canada-Indonesia FTA and continues to support this potential market growth.

Canadian beef producers export approximately fifty per cent of beef produced in Canada and this trade adds a value of $775 CDN per animal in comparison to if producers were only able to sell into the Canadian market.