Canadian mining sector cheers TPP signing – by Peter Koven (National Post – October 6, 2015)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

TORONTO – The Canadian mining industry is celebrating Canada’s signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which brings plenty of positives and no serious negatives.

The deal will gradually eliminate tariffs on Canadian mineral exports in TPP nations, some of which are enormous. At the same time, it does not bring any of the risks to Canada’s mining sector that it does to the dairy or auto sectors. It simply enhances the export opportunities.

“We don’t have some of the issues that other sectors face,” Pierre Gratton, president of the Mining Association of Canada, said in an interview. “For us, it’s really an opportunity to see reduced tariffs and to make us more competitive.”

There are huge variations in mineral import tariffs in TPP countries. On the low end, Australia applies tariffs of up to five per cent on Canadian imports, and Japan applies tariffs up to 7.9 per cent, the mining association said. On the high end, Vietnam’s tariffs are as high as 40 per cent, and Malaysia’s go up to 50 per cent.

The TPP countries are already major consumers of Canadian minerals, and that should increase if Canada remains in the partnership. Over the past three years, Canada has exported an average of almost $160 billion of minerals a year to these countries. That is roughly half of its total mineral exports.

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