November 30, 2005


Canada to push for global pork trade liberalisation



Canada must make the most of the upcoming WTO's ministerial meeting to reinvigorate the Doha Round of trade talks towards a more liberalised and fair trade, according to the Canadian Pork Council (CPC).


"It appears unlikely that an agreement will be reached on the exact size of tariff cuts and other modalities as had been hoped earlier," Clare Schlegel, president of the CPC said.


"However, it is critically important for Canada's growing international pork export business that the Hong Kong meeting arrives at a clear commitment to complete the Doha round within as short a time frame as possible, and still achieve its original objectives of reform and liberalisation of trade policies."


He said Canada is already among the world's top three pork exporters.


However, as the US and Mexico continue to increase their pork exports, Canada's industry becomes increasingly dependent on countries outside of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to simply maintain existing sales, let alone future growth, Schlegel said.


The value of Canada's pork exports for 2005 was projected to be nearly C$3 billion (US$2.6 billion). This compares with less than C$1 billion just 10 years ago. Canada now exports to 100 countries around the world, while Canadian pork exports to non-NAFTA markets have almost tripled from 1999 to 2005.


Key objectives from the Doha round for Canada's pork industry include:

   -Elimination or major reduction of all tariffs on pork;

   -Elimination of export subsidies;

   -Further cuts in trade-distorting domestic subsidies while maintaining flexibility to deal with emergencies such as with a foreign animal disease;

   -Reforms in trade rules to limit use of countervailing and antidumping duties as protection against normal import competition; and,

   -Tariff rate quota administrative reforms towards honouring the spirit of the Uruguay Round commitments on minimum market access.


The CPC will have a delegation in attendance at the meetings being held in Hong Kong in December, the release said.


The CPC is the national association representing the interests of Canada's hog producers.


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