Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for the opportunity to appear before the committee again.
I'd like to reconfirm the support of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association for the Canada-Jordan free trade agreement. Jordan has not traditionally been a significant market for Canadian beef, and it's not likely to become one in the near future, but this agreement will enable us to regain equivalent terms of access that the U.S. beef industry has enjoyed in Jordan since 2001. As Canadian beef exporters direct their primary efforts in the Middle East to markets like Saudi Arabia, it is beneficial to have access to the neighbouring Jordan and others.
We attach significant importance to all countries removing any lingering BSE restrictions on Canadian beef, and Jordan has done this. We hope other markets in the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia, will follow Jordan's lead.
Under the terms of the Canada-Jordan free trade agreement, Jordan will eliminate immediately its current 5% tariff on beef cuts; 10% tariff on genetics; and 21% to 28% tariffs on prepared beef products, such as sausages and cured meats. There are no exclusions and no quota limits in this agreement.
I would like to conclude my comments on the Jordan FTA by saying that we unreservedly support implementation of this agreement. We would point to the results as an example of what we would like to see in all future negotiations.
Before I wrap up entirely, I would like to use my final minute to point out that today, March 15, 2012, is the day the free trade agreement between Korea and the United States comes in force. This is a serious concern to the Canadian beef sector. Today is the first day that Canadian beef will be at a tariff disadvantage to U.S. beef in Korea. We strongly encourage Canada to complete its negotiations with Korea as well and restore our tariff parity in that market as soon as possible.
With that, I'll conclude my brief comments.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.