CALGARY, ALBERTA – Recent news that the Government of Canada has tabled legislation to implement the Canada-Panama Free-Trade Agreement in the House of Commons was welcomed by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. This agreement will eventually provide duty-free access for all Canadian beef products exported to Panama.

“We are particularly pleased that Panama has agreed to provide immediate duty-free access for the highest-quality Canadian beef grades,” said Travis Toews, CCA president. “We see an opportunity for supplying the cruise ships taking on provisions at the Panama Canal with high-quality Canadian beef.”

If the Canadian Parliament can act quickly in ratifying this agreement before the US Congress ratifies theirs, Canada can enjoy a head-start to eliminate the 25% to 30% tariff on its beef products, according to CCA.

Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and Minister of International Trade Peter Van Loan have been working to create new trade opportunities for Canadian beef in markets both large and small. Although Panama may be a small market, this announcement builds on opportunities from the recent Colombia FTA and continues the momentum that CCA hopes will be reflected in other ongoing trade negotiations.