Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

December 12, 2007 16:42 ET

Government of Canada Denounces European Union's Re-Introduction of Export Refunds for Pork Products

Minister's Statement

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 12, 2007) - The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, today issued the following statement regarding the European Union's (EU) decision to resume the use of export subsidies for certain pork products. The new subsidies came into effect November 30, 2007.

"We are very disappointed that the EU has chosen to resume the use of export subsidies for pork. I have written to the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, expressing Canada's concerns and asking that these subsidies be reconsidered.

"The EU action is in stark contrast to its stated commitment in the current round of World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations to end export subsidies on agricultural products, including pork.

"Pork producers around the world - including here in Canada - are facing a number of financial problems. Off-loading one's domestic problems on your trade partners - which is the effect of the EU's new subsidies - is not the way to resolve the problem.

"The EU subsidies will have further negative impacts for other pork-exporting nations and will delay market recovery.

"This is a clear example of why it is important for Canada that an agreement be reached in the WTO agriculture negotiations, where it has already been agreed that a final outcome would include the complete elimination of export subsidies.

"In the meantime, this Government will continue to work with the livestock industry. Federal, provincial and territorial governments are introducing a new suite of Business Risk Management programs that include many improvements requested by the sector. As well, an industry-government task team is identifying short-term measures to assist the livestock industry as we continue to oversee strategies to address long-term competitiveness issues.

"This Government is committed to farmers. We will take the necessary steps to ensure that the agriculture industry, which has served Canadians so well, continues to have the opportunities it needs to thrive in what is admittedly a difficult global environment."

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Patrick J. McCloskey
    Press Secretary