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Ag supports Barton as Cdn. ambassador to China

Ag supports Barton as Cdn. ambassador to China

Barton’s 2017 report identified ag as a sector with significant growth potential

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Canadian ag organizations are on board with who the federal government’s selected to serve as a representative in China.

Dominic Barton will serve as Canada’s next ambassador to China, Prime Minister Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland announced yesterday.

Barton authored The Barton Report, a series of recommendations to help Canada achieve sustained long-term economic growth.

The second of Barton’s three reports identified agriculture as a sector with significant growth potential.

Barton’s appointment comes at a time when ag trade between China and Canada has slowed.

China imported $8.1 billion of Canadian agri-food and seafood products in 2017, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada says.

But China has blocked Canadian canola imports since March. In July, the CFIA suspended Canadian pork exports to China because of concerns regarding an export certificate.

Barton’s confidence in the ag sector through his report makes him a good choice to serve as Canada’s ambassador to China and restore market access, the Canadian Pork Council said.

“His 2017 report on economic growth identifying the trade of agricultural products as a key driver of the Canadian economy was well received by the industry,” the organization said in a statement yesterday. “We look forward to working with Mr. Barton to regain access to the Chinese market and continuing to contribute to growing agricultural exports to $75 billion by 2025.”

The Canola Council of Canada agrees.

“We’re very pleased to see a well-respected business leader who knows agri-food appointed as Ambassador to China,” Jim Everson, president of the Canola Council of Canada, said in a Sept. 4 statement. “Mr. Barton has been clear on how agri-food is a key driver of Canadian growth. We look forward to working with Mr. Barton to restore canola exports, which has been Canada’s number one export to China.”

John McCallum served as Canada’s ambassador to China from March 17, 2017 until he submitted his resignation on Jan. 26, 2019.

Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press photo

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