Farmers demand strong political response to expanding trade obstacles for Canada

Farmers demand strong political response to expanding trade obstacles for Canada
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OTTAWA — Canola farmers whose livelihoods have been targeted by China in its feud with Canada are urging the federal government to step up its fight against the growing number of agricultural trade barriers around the world.

Speaking to a parliamentary committee on Tuesday, several producers said China’s recent rejection of Canadian canola-seed shipments is only the latest trade disruption that’s hurt the country’s agriculture sector.

They told the committee about trade disputes that are already creating major obstacles for Canadian agricultural exports in India, Italy, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia.

Alberta canola farmer Stephen Vandervalk says it’s time for the government to take political action on the industry’s behalf to remove non-tariff barriers and to enforce trade deals.

Citing concerns about pests, China has rejected canola-seed imports from Canada and has suspended the licences of two major Canadian exporters.

The moves to cut off the critical Canadian export have been widely viewed as China applying economic pressure on Canada in response to the December arrest of senior Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver at the behest of the United States.

The Canadian Press

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