Canada wants to revive WTO negotiations

It’s critical to Canada’s agri-food sector that we maintain rules-based trade

Brian Innes, president of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance

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Canada used a meeting in Paris to lobby for a revival of World Trade Organization negotiations.

Brian Innes, the president of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance, welcomed the initiative, saying that the World Trade Organization is the best place for smaller and weaker countries, such as Canada, to negotiate trade deals.

“It’s critical to Canada’s agri-food sector that we maintain rules-based trade,” he said.

But both the United States and China has flouted the WTO rules in the last few years, imposing tariffs and blocking trade on technical issues they will not refer to the WTO for resolution.

The Americans have also refused to appoint people to sit on WTO disputes-settling panels, frustrating that avenue for redress.

India blocked what appeared to be a major WTO trade deal and nothing much has happened since, other than an agreement to ban all subsidized exports.

That’s due to take effect later this year and could hurt Canadian exports of dairy and poultry products which are deemed to be subsidized via supply management.

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