Efforts Behind Bilateral Trade Agreements Applauded

CANADA - In the absence of progress on the multilateral front, the Canadian Pork Council is applauding efforts by the federal government to establish bilateral free trade agreements, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 11 December 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

In the wake of the impasse in multilateral trade negotiations at the World Trade Organization the Canadian Pork Council has been encouraging the federal government to make bilateral trade discussions a priority.

Canadian Pork Council foreign trade committee chair Florian Possberg says, with about 70 per cent of the pork produced in Canada sold on the export market, trade is paramount for the industry to survive.

Florian Possberg-Canadian Pork Council

On the world stage our main competitor is the United States.

We also compete with the Danes and we compete with places like Chile and Brazil.

They all have their pluses and minuses.

The US has some of the same challenges that we have in Canada dealing with the automotive industry.

Brazil has some health challenges.

They still have some hoof and mouth in parts of their country and that restricts their ability to get into some markets.

Denmark finds that they're better off to focus on selling to other EU countries because there's where their value is.

What we're seeing is a country like Chile, though, they've signed a lot of free trade agreements and they've successfully increased their shipments of pork out of Chile rather substantially.

So they've really benefited from free trade agreements.

Mr Possberg says have seen success in individual markets like Panama and Colombia and we are seeing progress in others.

He notes discussions are ongoing with China and India, which combined account for almost 2.5 billion people and he applauds the prime minister's recent visits to both of those nations.

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