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CPC commends Canada on progress on FTA with Peru and others

by 5m Editor
18 June 2007, at 11:25am

CANADA - The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) has congratulated International Trade Minister David Emerson, along with Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Chuck Strahl, on completing free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations with the European Free Trade Association countries (Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein).

The team has also been praised for launching FTA negotiations with Peru, Columbia and the Dominican Republic.

"These trade agreements are crucial in opening up further market access opportunities for Canada," said Clare Schlegel, President of the Canadian Pork Council. "The Canadian hog and pork industry has a vital interest in improved export access and not falling behind other countries that have been aggressively pursuing regional trade agreements, such as the US and Chile," said Schlegel.

These new trade agreements are a step forward, however, the federal government has also been urged to take every opportunity to assist in completing current WTO negotiations and to complete a free-trade deal with Korea which includes pork.

"Otherwise, we will find ourselves at a serious disadvantage, compared to countries such as the United States, which has the 'KORUS' agreement and many other recently completed deals that, if left unmatched by Canada, will result in our pork and many other products losing out to the U.S. and other exporters in important foreign markets," added Schlegel

He said the deal reached between the United States and Korea needed further examination, adds Schlegel. As it stands it clearly shows Canada would lose its current place as one of Korea's two most important suppliers. "The 50 per cent increase in the Canadian dollar against the US dollar since 2002 has hit the Canadian hog and pork industries extremely hard. The lack of a FTA with Korea could force many more in our industry to fold."

5m Editor