The Fisheries Council of Canada (FCC) is pleased that the governments of Canada and the United Kingdom have reached a transitional trade deal ahead of the December 31, 2020 deadline. The agreement will ensure that Canadian seafood products will continue to enjoy tariff-free access to Britain.
“The Canadian fishing industry values its trading relationship with the United Kingdom as our fifth largest importer,” said Paul Lansbergen, president of the Ottawa, Ontario-based FCC. “A free and open trade agreement between our two countries plays a significant role in the economies of our nations.”
The UK market purchased CAD $131million worth of Canadian seafood in 2019. Top product grouping exports to Britain are salmon (35%), shrimps and prawns (26%), lobsters (25%) and scallops (5%). The importance of the British market to individual companies can be significant.
If the two governments had not reached this transitional agreement, Canadian fish and seafood exports would have faced increased tariffs. Based on FCC’s own analysis using 2019 export data, the applicable proposed tariffs would have added roughly CAD $11 million on the top four product groupings mentioned above. This would represent an average tariff rate of nearly 10 per cent and would have put Canadian products at a distinct disadvantage to like exports from other countries.
“I urge all Parliamentarians to swiftly ratify this agreement so that it can go into effect by January 1, 2021,” said Lansbergen “Canadians working in the fisheries sector supply chain will thank you.”