CPC Supports Free Trade Discussions with Ukraine

CANADA - The Canadian Pork Council is expressing its support for consultations that could lead to a comprehensive free trade agreement between Canada and Ukraine, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 1 December 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada is assessing the level of interest in initiating negotiations aimed establishing a bilateral free trade agreement with Ukraine.

Canadian Pork Council executive director Martin Rice says, given the level of progress in efforts aimed at establishing a new multilateral trade agreement through the World Trade Organization, Canada by necessity has to focus on these bilateral agreements.

Martin Rice-Canadian Pork Council

Canada is needing, the Canadian pork industry needs as many alternative markets as it can and in recent times we've been finding ourselves playing catch up with countries such as Chile which has I think the most free trade agreements with other countries of any pork exporting nation but the US has also been very active on this front so we found ourselves actually concerned about losing our current terms of trade with countries, Columbia and Korea being examples.

In this case I think we do have a bit of a head start on something that as a country is quite large population wise, 45 million, has been experiencing economic growth in recent years at a higher rate than what we in North America are use to or even in western Europe.

It's still not at a level of income that would be a major market yet for some of the higher value products.

But no question it would, similar to Russia, be an important market for some products that we need to move.

Mr Rice notes Ukraine, like Russia, is not part of the World Trade Organisation and therefor is not subject to its trade rules.

He suggests having a bilateral agreement in place with Ukraine would provide Canada the type of secure access to that market that exists under the WTO.

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