Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

July 10, 2008 16:47 ET

Minister Ritz Standing Strong for Canadian Agriculture

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 10, 2008) - Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz today issued the following statement in response to the release of a revised draft modalities text on agriculture by Crawford Falconer, Chair of the World Trade Organization agriculture negotiations.

"The Conservative Government is standing up for Canadian farm families at the World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations in Geneva. We are working hard to deliver a balanced WTO agreement that benefits all Canadian farm families by protecting our supply managed sectors and creating new opportunities for exporters.

"The Government of Canada is committed to the WTO process. However, as Ambassador Falconer's latest text makes clear, there is still much work to be done to resolve outstanding issues. Wide gaps continue to separate many countries' negotiating positions. Each country will have to ratify any agreement and that will be complex as key players go through elections. The reality is that an agreement in Geneva would be only one step in a long process of ratification, detailed negotiation, and gradual implementation. Canada will work together with other WTO members at the forthcoming WTO meeting of Ministers in Geneva in an effort to move the negotiations forward. An agreement on modalities would not be a final conclusion, but one more step in the process.

"Canada is working hard to level the international playing field and create new international opportunities for farm families and all exporters. Canada will continue to push all countries to completely eliminate export subsidies and strengthen disciplines for domestic supports. The Conservative Government is committed to opening and expanding markets for our exporters.

"Canada continues to stand strong for our supply managed sectors. We firmly oppose proposals for any over quota tariff cuts or tariff quota expansion for sensitive products. The Conservative Government is committed to supporting supply management both at home and abroad.

"All countries participating in the negotiation have a great deal of work to do if wide gaps are to be bridged and an agreement is to be achieved. Canada is committed to doing its part and we will continue to work hard to move WTO negotiations forward."

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Margaux Stastny
    Press Secretary