Kick-Starting of WTO Negotiations Being Hoped for

CANADA - Canada's pork producers are hoping the global financial melt-down will provide the necessary incentive to kick-start a resumption of global trade talks at the World Trade Organization, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 7 January 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

While the global financial crisis has brought pork producers some relief in the form of lower input cost, primarily feed, and a lower Canadian dollar, the economic uncertainty has slowed the recovery of meat prices.

Canadian Pork Council executive director Martin Rice says we're still dealing with a world market that is facing a lot of economic uncertainty but that uncertainty has increased the focus on keeping the world economy working which does require finishing the WTO negotiations.

Martin Rice-Canadian Pork Council

We would expect that the new US administration will, on balance, be favourable to getting back into those discussions because we see it as being a big part of the economic recovery for the world economy in the next couple of years is restoration of growth in trade.

In difficult times people do tend to get more protective of their own interests and so, if that sentiment has more influence over the political process, then you'll see a movement away from WTO negotiations but there's just such a strong interdependence in the world economy now, financial and debt wise, financial flows and tourism and so on and really the trade side is just one element of that world economy that is really important to keeping that economy going so there's probably so much recognized interdependence economically now that there's going to be a lot of pressure to utilize that trade route to help get help back to the economic recovery that we're all looking forward to.

Rice notes Canada depends on world markets for a very large portion of its pork production.

He suggests, without trade, we won't see growth in countries like China and India which have been important markets for some of our products.

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