Pulse industry supports federal government efforts
The pulse industry in Canada is urging the Canadian government to ratify a free trade agreement with Panama, as well as new discussions with Morocco and Turkey; all are seen as significant market opportunities for the pulse industry in Canada.
September 27, 2010 By Pulse Canada
Sept. 27, 2010, Winnipeg, Manitoba – The Canadian pulse industry is encouraging the Canadian Parliament to move quickly to ratify a free trade agreement with Panama. Legislation was introduced in the House of Commons today for the Canada-Panama FTA. While Panama is a market for lentils, peas, beans and chickpeas, green lentils account for about 85 percent of Canadian pulse exports. Canadian pulse exports to Panama totaled about 8100 tonnes in 2009, worth about $5 million dollars in sales.
“Pulse Canada has long maintained that the Canadian government must move quickly to negotiate and ratify free trade agreements to ensure continued competitive access for Canadian pulses,” says David Nobbs, Chair of Pulse Canada. “We are pleased that the Canada-Panama agreement is now before Parliament and we hope to see it ratified and implemented as soon as possible so that businesses across Canada can pursue the opportunities in that market.”
The pulse industry also strongly encourages the Canadian government to pursue discussions about free trade agreements with Morocco and Turkey.Morocco is a key priority for the Canadian pulse industry, which would stand to gain significantly from a Canada-Morocco trade agreement. A US-Morocco agreement will eliminate tariffs for U.S. peas and beans over a 10-year period and tariffs for U.S. lentils and chickpeas will be eliminated over an 18-year period. Without a similar agreement, Canadian pulses will continue to face a 50 percent tariff.
Turkey is another important market for Canadian pulses. Just last week, Pulse Canada joined Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz on a trade mission to Turkey to kick off exploratory discussions about a free trade agreement. Canadian pulse exports to Turkey have increased dramatically, rising from less than $20 million in 2006 to over $100 million in 2009. Turkey has emerged as an important trans-shipment point for pulses moving into neighbouring countries in the Middle East and North Africa.