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Canada’s sprint to ratify sets up Trans-Pacific trade deal to take effect this year

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A wide-ranging trade agreement between 11 Pacific Rim countries is on track to take effect before the end of 2018, following formal notice of Canada’s ratification last Saturday and indications from Australia that it will do the same this week.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership — a revised version of the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal struck following the withdrawal of the United States — can take effect 60 days after at least six of the 11 partner countries file their notices of ratification with New Zealand, which acts as the depository country overseeing the deal’s implementation.

On Monday, International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr invited cameras to the New Zealand High Commission for a photo op with High Commissioner Daniel Mellsop to mark Canada’s filing over the weekend.

Canadian senators voted Thursday to approve Canada’s implementation legislation, clearing the way for a fast royal assent and the conclusion of Canada’s ratification process by the federal cabinet.

Carr said Monday the legislation had moved “as fast as any bill at any time because it’s so important for Canada to be a part of this great agreement.”

Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore all ratified before Canada.

Eyes now turn to Australia, which is expected to be the sixth country to ratify.

Australian legislators already have voted in favour. According to a report from Bloomberg, Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said last week in Ottawa his country was on track to give its formal notice by this Thursday, Nov.1.

There’s an economic incentive to have six countries on board by that date.

Some of the CPTPP’s tariff cuts are immediate, but others — particularly for the most sensitive agricultural and automotive products — ramp up over timelines of a decade or more.

The CPTPP is now on track to be in effect before the end of the 2018 calendar year. That means the initial tariff reductions would kick in by Dec. 31.

But according to the CPTPP’s tariff schedules, reductions for subsequent years kick in on Jan.1. So a second tariff cut could come almost immediately after the first — on Jan.1, 2019.

Without six partner countries ratifying the deal this week, the second wave of tariff cuts would have to wait an entire year, until Jan.1, 2020.

Japan’s market key

It’s difficult to say exactly what economic impact the CPTPP will have on Canada’s economy. Canada already enjoys preferential trade with some countries in the deal thanks to existing trade agreements (its bilateral trade agreement with Chile, for example, or its NAFTA partnership with Mexico).

According to recent Canadian government calculations, once the TPP is fully implemented (and all the tariff cuts are in place), Canadian exporters could save $428 million per year, with the bulk of the savings coming from exports to Japan ($338 million), Australia ($47 million) and Vietnam ($25 million).

Because Canada has had no success in negotiating a bilateral trade agreement with Japan, access to its large but often protected market is arguably Canada’s best reason to participate in the CPTPP.

Fifteen years from now, when all of the tariff cuts are implemented, several categories of Canadian exports to Japan are expected to benefit from large savings, including:

  • wheat and barley exports ($167 million);
  • pork products ($51 million);
  • beef ($21 million);
  • wood products ($32 million). 

The remaining five countries that signed the CPTPP, but are not expected to ratify in time for the deal’s initial implementation, are Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Peru and Vietnam.

Vietnam’s government has suggested it may ratify the CPTPP in November.

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Real Estate

Couple from Toronto buys dream home in Mushaboom

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MUSHABOOM – A couple who lived and raised a family in downtown Toronto developed a five-year plan in 2015 to purchase their dream home.

In September they moved into the home – located on Malagash Island in Mushaboom on Nova Scotia’s stunning Eastern Shore – that met and exceeded their best dreams for their retirement.

The Camerons, Bruce and Tanya, decided in 2019 they would explore the Maritimes to see what real estate was available to become their potential retirement home. In the spring of 2020, during a global pandemic, the real estate boom hit their city, and they were hearing the same for Nova Scotia. Our province was their first-choice for attaining their desire for an entirely different lifestyle – away from the busyness of the city.

“We had $300,000 to $350,000 as a home value in mind to buy. Our semi-detached located off Danforth in Toronto was priced at $850,000. We wanted to come out ahead, so we would be secure in retirement,” Tanya said.

Their century-old home had prime location near the subway and GO Transit Line for a great 13-minute commute downtown.

“We enjoyed our community,” explains Bruce “… we had great neighbours, young children around and street parties – lots of social activity.”

Bruce says, “Our agent suggested a starting quote of $899,000. We did not do any renovations and only some staging. Fifty couples went through and we received four significant offers. Six days later we sold – with zero conditions – and a price of over a million dollars. We just requested a closing of September 2020 to get the kids off to school – which we got.”

The couple got more than they had anticipated.

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Real Estate

Rabobank Announces Leadership Changes in U.S., Canadian Offices

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NEW YORK, Dec. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Rabobank, the leading global food and agribusiness bank, has appointed two of its top executives, Tamira Treffers-Herrera and Robert Sinescu, to become Co-Heads of North American Client Coverage, positioning the Bank for future growth in the region.

Treffers-Herrera has also assumed the role of Vice Chairperson and Head of the Atlanta office, where she additionally oversees Rabobank Mexico, which is led by Eduardo Palacios. Sinescu is the Head of the Chicago office, and also oversees Rabobank Canada, led by Marc Drouin, who was recently appointed as Canada’s General Manager.

Treffers-Herrera and Sinescu report to David Bassett, Head of Wholesale Banking North America, the Bank’s corporate and investment banking business for the region based in New York.

“Both Tamira and Robert have a demonstrated history of strong leadership, operational excellence and passion for our clients,” Bassett said. “Their broad experience and deep sector expertise will be invaluable in delivering dynamic results for clients while accelerating our growth trajectory in North America.”

Each office will have an even greater focus on key Food & Agribusiness sectors and clients: The Chicago office will drive growth in sectors including Dairy, Farm Inputs and Grains & Oilseeds, which are also key areas of focus for the Canada office. The Atlanta office will focus heavily on sectors such as Animal Protein, Beverages, Sugar, and Supply Chains, which are important sectors in Mexico as well.

“Rabobank is fully committed to our clients throughout North America, and we believe our new sector-focused coverage will improve our ability to provide knowledge-based, value-added solutions that benefit our clients,” Bassett said.

Treffers-Herrera was most recently based in London as CEO of Rabobank’s European Region from 2016-2020, where she took the organization through Brexit. Prior to that, she worked in the Atlanta office from 2002-2016. During her tenure in Atlanta, Treffers-Herrera served as Global Sector Head – Consumer Food & Beverages, and prior to that she was a senior banker for a portfolio of large beverage and consumer foods clients. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Kentucky, a Master of Arts from the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce and has studied at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Harvard Business School.

Sinescu has been with Rabobank for over 21 years and was previously General Manager of Rabobank Canada, where he oversaw all operations, business development, commercial strategy and relationships with regulators. In addition, he continues to serve as CEO of Rabo Securities Canada Inc. Prior to Canada, he was a senior banker, Head of Corporate Banking, European Sector Head for Sugar, and a member of the Management Team for Rabobank France. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from the Bucharest School of Business, a Master of Business Administration & Management and a Master of Science in Banking and Corporate Finance from Sorbonne University in Paris, and has studied at Brown University.

Drouin has worked with Rabobank’s Canadian team for more than nine years and most recently served as a senior banker, Head of Rabobank Canada’s AgVendor Program and a member of Rabobank Canada’s Management Team. He brings extensive wholesale banking experience within the Dairy, G&O, CPG and Supply Chain sectors. Drouin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University and a Master of Business Administration in International Finance, Marketing and Management from the Schulich School of Business at York University.

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Real Estate

Greybrook Realty Partners & Marlin Spring Brand Jointly Owned Asset Manager – Greyspring Apartments

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TORONTO, Dec. 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Greybrook Realty Partners and Marlin Spring are pleased to announce the new branding of their jointly owned investment and asset management firm, Greyspring Apartments. With a portfolio of more than 2,000 units and CAD$375 million in assets under management, Greyspring Apartments is focused on the acquisition and repositioning of multi-family assets throughout Canada.

The new name and branding is an important step in Greyspring’s evolution as an independent operating business. Formed in 2018 by long standing-partners Marlin Spring and Greybrook Realty Partners, Greyspring Apartments was established with the goal of building a leading asset management firm with a robust portfolio of residential rental real estate assets in primary and secondary markets across Canada.

Greyspring’s talented team of real estate, asset management and finance professionals is overseen and guided by the Management Board, whose members include Benjamin Bakst, CEO, Marlin Spring; Elliot Kazarnovksy, CFO, Marlin Spring; Sasha Cucuz, CEO, Greybrook Securities Inc.; Peter Politis, CEO, Greybrook Realty Partners; Chris Salapoutis, President & COO, Greybrook Realty Partners; Ashi Mathur, President, Marlin Spring; and Karl Brady. In addition to his role on the Management Board, Karl Brady leads Greyspring Apartments as its President. 

“We are pleased to announce the official name and branding of a business we formed with our partners at Marlin Spring a few years ago,” said Peter Politis, CEO, Greybrook Realty Partners. “Greyspring has been diligently focused on the execution of strategic value-add programs across its portfolio that are improving the quality of housing for tenants and overall asset values. For Greybrook investors, expanding from our core business in real estate development to the value-add space through Greyspring, has allowed us to provide our clients with investment opportunities that diversify their real estate investment portfolios.”

“Marlin Spring and Greybrook have partnered on many residential real estate projects in recent years,” said Benjamin Bakst, CEO and Cofounder, Marlin Spring. “To a great extent, Greyspring illustrates our approach to partnerships. We believe in, and strive for, responsible growth through deepening our relationships with our trusted partners. With Greyspring, we’ve formalized our focus on providing better and more affordable living experiences for Canadians. This vision aligns with our mission to deliver exceptional real estate value to all our stakeholders with an uncompromising adherence to our core values.”

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