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Canada Views WTO Talks as Holding Potential for Improving Canada US Trade Relations

by 5m Editor
3 June 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1529. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

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Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1529

Canada's International Trade Minister says global trade talks underway in Geneva offer some hope for an easing of the barrage of US trade actions against Canadian agricultural products.

Disagreement over agriculture subsidies was blamed for the collapse of a W-T-O meeting in Mexico, last fall but the United States and the European Union have indicated they're prepared to cut their farm subsidies to get the negotiations back on track.

James Peterson says Canada has been working with them and with other members of the WTO to develop a successful framework agreement by mid July.

"One of the big thrusts is that, yes, we see these immediate problems in terms of hogs, in terms of beef, in terms of wheat, grains.

Trade actions are ongoing but one of the biggest single problems we face is the enormous agricultural subsidies in the United States and in the EU.

Until we find a way to level that playing field we are going to continually face these trade actions designed to protect inefficient producers against the Canadian producers who are fair traders and who can compete with anybody on the face of the earth.

This why our efforts are absolutely critical because, if we can get rid of those agricultural subsidies south of the border, our farmers will show just what they can do in terms of being globally competitive".

Peterson says, while the elimination of agricultural subsidies will be an enormous help to our farmers, he wouldn't want to bet the family home that it will actually bring an end to US trade actions against Canadian farm products.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor