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CANADA - Canada's minister of agriculture says expanding international trade opportunities are helping maintain the value of Canadian livestock in the face of US Country of Origin Labelling, writes Bruce Cochrane.
Last month, the World Trade Organisation ruled changes to Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling, introduced in 2013 failed to bring the US into compliance with its world trade obligations.
Federal agriculture minister Gerry Ritz says, while he expects the US government to appeal the ruling, trade agreements with other markets are helping maintain the value of Canadian livestock.
Gerry Ritz - Canada Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food:
I would use China as an example. We've gone from zero to over $100,000,000 in a couple of years and certainly there's growth potential in that market that is exponential. We'll continue to work there.
I'll be in China again next week pushing them to go to the next level, that's bone in beef. We've made our arguments to AQSIQ, their food safety regime, we've made our arguments to their administration as well.
Hopefully we can move forward. They've been excellent, once they've agreed to a time line they've followed through on it on other issues. We'll continue to press them on these.That's one example.
Of course the European Union now, between beef and pork there's 160,000 tonnes of new access coming up as we ratify that agreement.
Japan has always been a premium market, we'll continue to fill that.
Korea, now we're back in step with the US on access into Korea. That bill is moving through the house as we speak. The Korean one, from a Canadian perspective, we should have well in hand by the end of this calendar year and we're pressing Korea to make sure that they are doing the same.
That gives us reciprocity with the US. When you look at the difference in the dollar our guys are no longer held back because of the difference in value.
The European Union one, we're on track. A lot of people are saying it took a long time but we got the right deal.
At the end of the day that was much more important, getting the science letters attached so that our beef is accepted and there aren't hurdles behind the agreement.
TheCattleSite News Desk