Business & Policy
Canadian ag groups welcome signing of CETA
On Oct. 30, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union (EU) and Canada.
By Stefanie Croley
Following the signing, agriculture groups across Canada voiced their approval of the agreement. CETA will open up the EU market to Canadian businesses and will eliminate nearly 94 per cent of agricultural tariff lines. CETA aims to benefit farmers by providing more access for wheat producers, and more secure access for barley, corn, oat and soybean producers, as well as other agricultural producers.
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) shared its approval in a press release, noting its members are supportive of the deal, provided that:
- Agricultural exporters can take full advantage of the market access concessions that were negotiated.
- Safeguards guaranteed to farmers in Belgium do not impede new market access for Canadian farmers.
- The federal government fully mitigates CETA’s impact to the Canadian dairy industry as a result of the EU’s new access that allows it to sell 17,000 tonnes of cheese into the Canadian market.
According to the CFA, farm leaders are urging the government to clarify its position on these points while CETA moves through the steps toward ratification in Canadian and EU members’ legislatures over the coming months.
“CFA calls for the government to continue its support for [a] balanced trade approach that strengthens and supports all of the commodities that make up Canada’s diverse agricultural sector,” said Ron Bonnett, CFA president, in a press release.
The Grain Farmers of Ontario, the Canola Council of Canada and the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance echoed Bonnett’s sentiments.
“The signing of this agreement demonstrates strong leadership by the Government of Canada,” said Mark Brock, chair of the Grain Farmers of Ontario, in a press release. “We congratulate all those involved for achieving this milestone in the establishment of CETA.”
“We are pleased that the agreement has been officially signed,” said Patti Miller, CCC president, in a press release. “A key element of CETA is the elimination of tariffs on canola oil entering the EU immediately upon implementation, which could increase our exports by up to $90 million per year…With 90 per cent of our production exported, creating a stable and open trade environment is critically important to canola farmers and the entire value chain.”
“Eliminating barriers to trade through CETA will allow Canada to capture more value from agri-food exports to the EU,” noted the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA) in a press release. “Better access to the EU will help us grow our exports, driving growth here in Canada,” added Brian Innes, CAFTA president.