Canadian Pork urges to move forward on WTO
In a letter addressed to Gerry Ritz, the Canadian minister of agriculture and agri-food, the Canadian Pork Council has indicated its concern over the country's rigid stance in market access negotiations.
The current position deviates from what Canada agreed to
"We see precious little time remaining for the international community to
arrive at a new multilateral trade agreement through the World Trade
Organization (WTO)", says Clare Schlegel, president of the Canadian Pork Council
(CPC), Canada's national association representing the interests of hog
"And Canada, as the world's fourth largest agri-food exporter,
must make the most of the opportunity. Instead, Canada is asking to go back
on what it agreed to more than three years
In the letter to Ritz, Schlegel warns that,
"Canada, as a WTO member, agreed to the Framework for Establishing Modalities in
Agriculture that was adopted by the General Council on August 1, 2004, under
which there would be improvements in access for all products. The current
position being articulated by Canada places us in violation of that
This week in Geneva, Switzerland, negotiators are involved
in intensive discussions on domestic support and market access, two areas of
great importance to all Canadian agriculture. Canadian pork producers have
representatives present there.
is one of the world's leading exporters of hogs and pork products. In a recent
study, the George Morris Centre, an independent economic
research organisation, estimated that Canadian pork exports in 2005 were
responsible for domestic economic activity amounting to almost CAD $8 billion
(US $8.2 billion) and over 40,000 jobs.
"Canada, to our knowledge, is the
only one among the WTO's 151 member countries, which is seeking to back
away from the 2004 agreement respecting agriculture," said Schlegel.
He continued, "Walking away from a final deal is not an
acceptable option for such a trade-dependent country; therefore we must
participate fully and constructively in these negotiations."
â€¢ Canadian Pork Centre
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