Free Trade Deals with Columbia and Peru Applauded

CANADA - The Canadian Pork Council is applauding Canada's latest bilateral free trade agreements, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 26 May 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

Last week a delegation headed by federal agriculture minister Gerry Ritz concluded a trade mission to Colombia and Peru intended to promote Canadian agricultural products and advance quick implementation of free trade agreements already signed with those two nations.

The mission, which included representation from the beef, pork, grains and pulse sectors, was the latest in a series of foreign visits to secure free trade agreements.

Canadian Pork Council Executive director Martin Rice notes, for some time, the CPC has been worried about how far ahead competitors, such as the US and Chile, were getting in having bilateral agreements but now we're seeing signs of significant catching up and even moving ahead.

Martin Rice-Canadian Pork Council

We would like to see the WTO negotiations, the Doha Round resume and be completed and provide the additional market access improvements as well as better access or better terms of subsidies, export competition and so on.

The fact is that the Doha Round has fallen back on a slow progress situation.

We don't know when the US administration is going to re-engage on that and really bilaterals are the only available option for us to make significant improvements in our access within the next five years.

I think the Canadian situation has become favorable in terms of catching up and maybe getting ahead of our U.S. competitors but also I think we are fairing very well vis-a-vis our other major competitors such as Brazil, Chile and Asia.

Mr Rice notes there's a great deal of interest in bilateral free trade discussions underway with the European Union, longer term there is hope for improved trade with China and India and throughout Latin America and Central America there's still opportunity for additional agreements.

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