Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and Federal Agriculture Minister, Gerry Ritz, have confirmed that Panama has approved Canada’s meat inspection system and lifted the ban on Canadian beef imposed in 2003 because of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).
“The Government of Canada continues to fight for farmers by opening and re-opening markets abroad,” said Minister Ritz. “I’m pleased to see that Panama recognises that Canada produces safe, high quality beef and pork products and I encourage all countries in Latin America to open their doors.”
“This is an important development in relations between our two countries,” said Minister Day. “The opening of this market for Canadian beef creates opportunities that will make a difference to the bottom line for Canadian producers. It also shows this Government is committed to fighting for full access and fair treatment worldwide for Canadian business.”
Approving Canada’s meat inspection system and granting of access to Canada is important because it gives our exporters the ability to ship beef and pork from all federally-registered Canadian meat establishments.
Canada and Panama concluded negotiations on a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement covering goods, services and investment, among other areas. Parallel accords on labour cooperation and the environment were also negotiated.