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Full Benefits of CETA Expected to be Delayed by Technical Issues

20 July 2017, at 6:00am

CANADA & EU - Unresolved outstanding issues are expected to delay the full benefits for Canadian agriculture of Canada's free trade deal with Europe, reports Bruce Cochrane.

21 September has been set as the implementation date for the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement involving Canada and the European Union.

Brian Innes, the President of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance, estimates the agreement will mean about one and a half billion dollars in increased Canadian agri-food exports to Europe but outstanding issues will delay the full benefits of the agreement.

Brian Innes-Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance

On day one certainly some of the tariff concerns we've had around canola oil, around quota concerns that we have on low protein wheat, those things enable us to export right away where as other things that we gained in the agreement like access for beef and pork have some difficulties associated with them, primarily around food safety recognition between Canada and Europe.

While some of our beef plants will be able to export once they have the required certification there are some inconsistencies with the way Europe looks at certain provisions in our processing plants and the way that Canadian regulatory officials see those same requirements.

That means that not all of our current beef and pork processing plants will be able to meet European requirements on day one.

There need to be still further efforts made to enable our processing facilities here in Canada to meet European requirements.

On the crop side as well there are potential barriers around crop inputs like crop protection products as well as biotechnology traits that we include in our canola and our corn and our soybeans that are potential barriers as well but the main concerns do revolve around those meat processing recognition requirements.

Mr Innes says it remains to be seen how much of the negotiated quotas Canada will be able to use in the near term.

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