Canadian beef producers keeping close eye on trade dispute between China, U.S.

By Leah Murray - CHAT News
April 5, 2018 - 4:18pm

MEDICINE HAT --  Many Canadian industries are keeping a close eye on a budding trade war between the United States and China

China is threatening retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. if they implement further duties on goods. One of those products could be beef.

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association says it’s concerned that if tariffs are enacted, it could mean a flood of excess beef, which would push prices down for Canadian producers.

However, Dennis Laycraft, executive vice president of the association, says the restructured Trans-Pacific Partnership deal will help open up new and expanded markets in Asia for Canadian beef. Currently, less than 1 per cent of Canadian beef exported goes to China or southeast Asia.

“When that does come into effect, we’re going to have a significant tariff advantage over our U.S. competitors into Japan, and we anticipate that we’ll see our exports in that market, and our market share grow fairly quickly,” he said.

Canada is currently the eighth largest exporter of beef in the world, with 74 per cent of exports heading to the U.S.

Laycraft says the association is less concerned about the trade war, but are more concerned about what a new North American Free Trade Agreement will look like for cattle producers.

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