June 2, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) Representatives from the Canadian Pork Council (CPC) were in Ottawa this week to address the House of Commons Standing Committee on Non-Tariff Trade Barriers to the Sale of Agricultural Products in Relation to Free Trade Agreements.
Hans Kristensen, a New Brunswick hog producer and the Maritime representative on the CPC's Board of Directors, spoke on behalf of the council, outlining the importance of continued attention to international market access for Canadian pork.
"The pork industry has always been interested in eliminating trade barriers and improving access, whether import barriers are unfair sanitary or regulatory measures or legitimate tariffs," said Kristensen. "We work hard to remove measures that hamper our exports."
Canada's meat sector is an ardent and steadfast supporter of all initiatives that contribute to the expansion of both new and existing export markets. Kristensen pointed out the CPC's support of federal legislation to implement theCanada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, which received Royal Assent in May.
Important as trade agreements are, they constitute only one component of trade in pork products. The CPC believes the removal of import quotas and tariffs is only of value if it is possible to also overcome the myriad of associated regulatory and technical requirements.
"The meat industry works very closely with the Market Access Secretariat of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the CFIA, Health Canada and Global Affairs Canada on the endless task of addressing these impediments," said Kristensen. "These departments need the flexibility and a full team with the financial backing to efficiently address market access issues. There is work to be done to better capitalize on existing access."
Canada needs to take every opportunity to secure favourable terms of access to foreign markets, including through new trade agreements with countries such as China or expanding existing agreements such as NAFTA. CPC is also advocating for the 11 remaining Trans-Pacific Partnership countries to continue their efforts to reach a deal now that the US has withdrawn from the agreement.
The CPC serves as the national voice for hog producers in Canada. A federation of nine provincial pork industry associations, the organization's purpose is to play a leadership role in achieving and maintaining a dynamic and prosperous Canadian pork sector.
Public Relations Manager
Canadian Pork Council
(t) (613) 236-9239 ext 277