Canola group demands Ottawa ‘consider all available options’ in China seed dispute

Canola group demands Ottawa ‘consider all available options’ in China seed dispute
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The Canola Council of Canada is calling on the federal government to “consider all available options” amid a trade dispute with China that has resulted in suspended seed shipments from two exporters.

China suspended the licenses of Richardson International Ltd. and Viterra Inc., citing concerns about pests, and Chinese companies stopped buying seed from Canadian producers in recent months.

The council’s president Jim Everson says in a statement that the group has seen little sign that China wants to engage in a science-based discussion and it needs Ottawa to consider all available options.

It recommends Canada appoint an ambassador to China as soon as possible, and review diplomatic, technical and legal tools to engage Chinese officials in resuming trade, among other things.

The seed dispute comes after Canadian authorities arrested Chinese tech executive, Meng Wanzhou, in Vancouver in December at the behest of the U.S.

The council says China’s been a major market for Canadian canola and accounts for about 40 per cent of all seed, oil and meal exports.

The Canadian Press

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