Despite efforts on the part of our federal government, the Americans continue to have a lot better agricultural trade access to a number of foreign markets. Nearly six years after the initial outbreak of BSE in this country, South Korea continues to ban all Canadian beef. The U.S. has the same BSE risk status as Canada, but it reestablished access to the South Korean market in June 2008. Canada is now calling on the World Trade Organization to begin consultations to address the beef import ban. The Americans also have preferential access to the North African nation of Morocco. In this case, beef isn’t the issue. It’s durum wheat and pulse crops and a lot of money is at stake. Morocco is buying about $300 million a year worth of Canadian durum and about $16 million a year worth of green lentils. Both the Canadian Wheat Board and Pulse Canada say Canadian exports are in danger from a free-trade agreement signed four years ago between Morocco and the United States. That agreement will increasingly put Canadian products at a tariff disadvantage. On lentils, that disadvantage will eventually grow to $400 a tonne. It’s critical that the federal government continue addressing these sorts of trade issues. I’m Kevin Hursh.
Kevin Hursh, PAg, CAC