Canadian Federation of Agriculture Encourages Cooperation to Restart Stalled WTO Negotiations

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2205. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.
calendar icon 28 July 2006
clock icon 3 minute read
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Farm-Scape, Episode 2205

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture is encouraging the federal government and its trade negotiators to continue working with other countries in hopes of getting stalled World Trade Organization negotiations restarted.

Earlier this week, following the collapse of weekend talks in Geneva aimed at hammering out the modalities, or basic structure of a new world trade agreement, WTO director general Pascal Lamy announced he'll recommend negotiations be suspended to allow members time to review their positions and examine available options.

Canadian Federation of Agriculture President Bob Friesen admits the lack of progress is disappointing but he remains hopeful.

"I think our government and our negotiators have to continue what they've done for quite some time and that is continue to build partnerships and alliances with other countries at the WTO.

We need to continue to promote our negotiating position, Canadian ideas for some of the issues that they didn't see more progress on and not just Canadian ideas because they work for Canada but some of the ideas we have in Canada that would also work for other countries. We've always said that we'd like the WTO to be the forum where we develop fair and equitable trade rules.

Two areas where Canadian agriculture needed progress is we needed more and more profitable market access. We also needed, at the very least, the US to significantly reduce its domestic support and so it's too bad that there isn't more progress there.

Certainly we're hoping that they will continue to work on it and eventually we hope to have a successful outcome of a round that will be successful for Canadian agriculture."

Friesen insists it's absolutely imperative that we achieve more equity in trade rules and more equity in the way countries apply the modalities.

Despite his disappointment with the lack of progress, he remains hopeful the work will continue and that we'll eventually see an agreement that will work for Canadian agriculture.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

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