HALIFAX—Nova Scotia’s energy minister says the province is taking a cautious approach to the Trans-Pacific Partnership amid concerns that the historic trade pact will harm the agriculture sectors.
Michel Samson said the trade arrangement could benefit Nova Scotia’s lucrative seafood industry by reducing or removing hefty international tariffs.
Lobster, for example, is worth $15.5 million in sales in Japan, which has a five-per-cent duty on it.
Overall, Samson said the province is waiting for more information on the trade agreement.
“It’s too early at this point to say exactly what the overall impact is going to be,” he added. “We do see that there’s some potential benefits in the seafood sector, but we’re certainly aware that there will be negative impacts on the agriculture sector.”
Samson says it’s not clear how the massive trade arrangement involving 12 nations will affect the supply-management side.
Changes to the dairy, poultry and egg sectors could harm the industries, which along with turkey are worth $267 million in Nova Scotia and 1,000 direct jobs, he said.
“We understand that the federal government is talking about a compensation package, which we’re waiting to hear more of for the agriculture sector,” he said. “But the fact is Nova Scotians need to understand that with supply management, while there are quotas in place, it also ensures quality and safety of product for consumers.”