Bilateral Free Trade Agreements Critical for Canadian Pork Inudstry Competitiveness

CANADA - Canada Pork International is urging Ottawa to put a high priority on establishing bilateral free trade agreements to ensure Canadian agriculture is able to remain competitive with its international counterparts, writes Bruce Cochrane
calendar icon 18 April 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

Last week the Canadian Pork Council, Canada Pork International and the Canadian Meat Council forwarded a letter to key federal ministers seeking action of several fronts to address competitiveness issues within the pork industry.

Canada Pork International Executive Director Jacques Pomerleau says Canada's negotiators at the World Trade Organization need a clear mandate to pursue all avenues to achieve the best possible outcome under the Doha round but, given the uncertainty of those negotiations, establishing bilateral free trade agreements needs to be a priority.

Jacques Pomerleau-Canada Pork International

The markets that need to be targeted are, A-Korea because the Americans just completed a free trade agreement and, as an industry, we can not afford to lag behind but also to consider completing the Andean community free trade agreement as well as Central America for the same reasons.

In the future we should take a close look at free trade agreements with Japan especially, China and India.

The two competitors that are very active when it comes to free trade agreements are Chile and the United States.

Chile, in particular, has negotiated free trade agreements with Japan and with Korea.

It might be difficult for us to negotiate an agreement with Japan in the short while because it would be a massive free trade agreement but, in the short term, we need to complete the Korean one and hopefully in the next few weeks.

And the U.S. has been very active in Central America as well as South America and, again, we are losing ground because of that.

Pomerleau maintains Canada will always be dependent on the exports so any growth in the Canadian pork industry will have to come from foreign markets.

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