Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for the opportunity to appear before the committee again and to reconfirm the support of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association for the Canada-Jordan free trade agreement.
As acknowledged during our previous discussion on this, Jordan has not traditionally been a significant market for Canadian beef exports, and in all likelihood is not likely to crack the top 10 or 15 markets in the near future. Nevertheless, this agreement will enable us to regain equivalent terms of access that the U.S. beef industry has already enjoyed in that market due to the U.S.-Jordan free trade agreement. As Canadian beef exporters direct their primary efforts in the Middle East toward markets like Saudi Arabia, it's beneficial to them to have access to a neighbouring country, Jordan being right next to Saudi Arabia. Once they're in Saudi Arabia, it's beneficial to see what the potential is in Jordan and other markets in the region.
We place a high degree of importance on all countries around the world removing any lingering BSE restrictions on Canadian beef. Jordan has done that. We understand that the potential of establishing a free trade agreement with Canada was a factor in their lifting those restrictions.
We saw that happen in Panama. We saw that happen in Colombia. And our hope is that Korea is paying attention and that we can soon look forward to progress on beef access in Korea and finalization of a Canada-Korea free trade agreement as well.
Regarding the terms of a Canada-Jordan free trade agreement, Jordan will immediately eliminate its current 5% tariff on beef cuts. Those are things like steaks and roasts. They have a 10% tariff on genetics that they will eliminate immediately, and 21% to 28% tariffs on things like sausages, cured meat products. All of those will be eliminated immediately without any product exclusions or quota limits, as sometimes appear in some agreements.
This is really the result we want to see be the outcome in all of our free trade negotiations with other countries as well.
I think those comments are fairly familiar to you. With the chair's permission, while I'm here and there aren't a lot of other witnesses, I wonder if it would be valuable to take the opportunity to share with you that we've prioritized what some of our top market access priorities are in international trade generally, simply to have that on record with the committee. I can briefly run through those.
The top one obviously, as we've talked about before, is resolving the U.S. country-of-origin labelling issue and the impact on live cattle markets. We have nine points; that's the first one.
The second one is under-30-month access for beef and tallow into China. We did have an agreement with China that was signed between the Chinese president and Prime Minister Harper in June. That was to be a staged agreement. Work has been continuing at the technical level. A few conditions are still to be worked out, but we're looking forward to getting that operational and starting to send commercial quantities of beef into China.
The third one is getting commercially viable access to Korea. We've mentioned that. That has really stalled the free trade negotiations. We have a WTO case; that's proceeding. We have remained open to the possibility of a negotiated settlement. If we can come up with a negotiated settlement, potentially suspending our WTO case...we remain optimistic and our fingers are crossed that something will happen with Korea soon. There certainly is a lot of effort going in there.
The fourth priority would be getting full under-30-month access into Japan. Right now we're limited to beef from cattle under 21 months. It really is problematic to ship full container loads year-round. About five months a year you simply can't get enough beef in Canada from cattle under 21 months to be able to send full-sized container loads into Japan.
The fifth one would be getting full over-30-month access into Mexico. Right now we have everything under 30 months, and we need to get that expanded. The over-30-month market in Mexico was quite important prior to 2003, and we remain hopeful that something is going to happen there soon.
In Taiwan as well we have boneless under 30 months. We want to get the bone-in product.
Our seventh priority is getting access to the European Union's 20,000-tonne hormone-free quota that the United States negotiated about a year and a half ago. We have some technical issues to get in there, but that should be achievable in the near future.
The eighth point is Russia. Right now we have everything under 30 months and we have some boneless over-30-month product. We are in the process of getting full access into Russia, and we need a little bit of a push there to get that to happen.
The ninth point, which is not necessarily the least important but in the long term could be extremely important, is the negotiation of a new Canada-EU free trade agreement, and certainly those negotiations are ongoing.
So a quick layout of the top priorities. We welcome all access. All market openings for Canadian beef contribute to the bottom line of ranchers in terms of being able to sell all the products that come out of an animal, but we understand that resources are not unlimited, and that's why we've identified these nine items as the top priorities for our industry. We certainly support results like those achieved in the Jordan free trade agreement when they come along, but let's keep building on those results and try to take them into other areas.
That's the statement I have. I would be glad to take questions.