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Canadian Meat Council Endorses WTO Agriculture Framework

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

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1571. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1571

The Canadian Meat Council is calling on stakeholders within Canada's agriculture sector to approach World Trade Organization negotiations with an open mind.

The World Trade Organization's 147 members are attempting to hammer out an agreement for the eventual elimination of government agricultural subsidies.

Canadian Meat Council Executive Director James Laws says Canada is a huge exporter of beef and pork and its federally inspected meat packers and processors fully support the negotiating framework that's been brought forward.

"We certainly do encourage international regulations that are based on fair sound rules for everyone.

We believe that this framework agreement that's put forth is a positive step forward, that it can get everybody to agree to improving the rules. That's simply what it is.

I think that domestic support for industries as well as export subsidies are two very important areas that the framework will have to deal with.

I think that Canada is in somewhat of a tenuous position because we have sectors of agriculture that are more protected than others, some of the supply management sectors.

Certainly, with the advantages that Canada has with abundant feed supply and our good water resources, etceteras and our vast land mass, we can compete in a lot of these sectors.

If we can compete with pork and with beef, one has to ask the question of, 'why can't we compete in these other sectors as well?'."

Laws says other parts of the world, including Brazil and Argentina, have very competitive agriculture sectors.

He says, while there is some opposition to change within some sectors, Canada doesn't need to be afraid to compete on an equal footing with those countries.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor