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Ag Minister MacAulay promotes ag trade at SIAL

Minister says CETA will help farmers

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content

The Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) could expand Canada’s agri-food exports by $1.5 annually to Europe, according to Federal Minister of Agriculture Lawrence MacAulay.

MacAulay made his comments during the opening of SIAL Canada on May 2, the country’s largest agri-food tradeshow.

He was accompanied by Phil Logan, European Union Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.

Canada’s 2017 budget set  goal to grow the country’s agri-food exports to $75 billion by 2025.

CETA allows that to happen, says MacAulay.

“(CETA) is a historic win for both Canada and the EU,” he said in a May 2 statement. “This agreement will deepen our trading ties and create new and exciting opportunities for Canadian farmers and our agricultural sectors…”

Before the agreement, nly 25 per cent of Canadian goods were imported to the EU duty-free. Once CETA is fully implemented, the EU will eliminate tariffs on 99 per cent of tariffs, according to the Minister of Agriculture.

On processed cereals, tariffs averaged CAD$81.76 per 100 kg. That number will drop to $0 after CETA is fully implemented.

“We are confident that CETA will bring more products to discerning consumers in Canada and Europe,” Hogan said in the statement.

On the other side of the agreement, CETA will allow some milk and cheese to be imported into Canada, which could cost Canadian producers $116 million annually, Dairy Farmers of Canada said in November 2016.

To offset the impact on the dairy industry, the Government announced a $350 million investment to support the industry’s competitiveness.

$250 million is earmarked for a Dairy Farm Investment Program to allow farmers to upgrade equipment, and $100 million has been set aside for a Dairy Processing Investment Fund, designed to help processors modernize their operations.