Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

January 04, 2008 20:40 ET

Government of Canada Continues to Defend Canadian Agricultural Interests

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 4, 2008) - The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, today issued the following statement in response to the release of eight new working documents by Crawford Falconer, Chair of the World Trade Organization agriculture negotiations.

"The Government of Canada continues to seek an ambitious outcome to the WTO negotiations that benefits the entire agriculture sector, including both export-oriented and supply-managed industries."

"The Chair of the agriculture negotiations has issued working documents covering market access issues to outline his view of the direction of the negotiations. The documents do not represent consensus among WTO Members and will be subject to a lot of further discussion. Like all Members, Canada brings balanced positions to these negotiations and this Government is working toward a deal that recognizes the interests of all Canadian farm families.

"This Government is pleased that one of the documents outlines a formula for significant tariff reductions for non-sensitive products. This is important for Canada's agriculture and agri-food exporters. Canada's positions are also well-reflected in many of Mr. Falconer's other documents.

"However, we do have significant concerns about key elements of the Chair's document on sensitive products. Canada continues to actively oppose any tariff quota expansion or tariff cuts for sensitive products and we continue to take a firm position on this issue.

"This Government has shown leadership in supporting supply management and the benefits it delivers to farm families. We will continue to strongly defend interests that are important to our supply-managed industries at the WTO.

"This Government is actively involved in these negotiations as well as bilateral negotiations so that we can secure the best possible outcome for our farmers, their families and the entire agriculture sector."

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Todd MacKay
    Director of Communications