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Ministers meet with beef and pork reps

Ministers meet with beef and pork reps

The federal trade and ag ministers are working to resolve the trade issue with China

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Two federal ministers held a roundtable discussion with ag sectors affected by a trade dispute.

Marie-Claude Bibeau, the federal ag minister, and Jim Carr, the federal trade minister, met with representatives of Canada’s beef and pork industries in Montreal, Que., on July 3 to discuss the trade situation with China.

Last week, China announced its blockage of all imports of Canadian beef and pork citing ractopamine allegedly found in a batch of pork and 188 forged veterinary health certificates.

Ottawa reassured farmers at the meeting the government is doing all it can to restore trade access.

“We are working closely with farmers, industry, provinces and exporters to restore market access to China as quickly as possible,” Minister Bibeau said in a statement. “We know that Canada’s food safety system is recognized as one of the best in the world and we will continue to stand-up for Canada’s entire agricultural sector.”

Canada is investigating where the forged documents came from and has presented China with a plan to ensure it doesn’t happen again, Bibeau said.

“We have to reassure our Chinese partners for them to reopen the market,” she told reporters Wednesday. “We proposed a plan with additional measures for the (meat) export system in a way to tighten it and raise awareness so (China) reopen(s) the market as soon as possible.”

And it’s “too early” to discuss compensation for the beef and pork industries at this time, Bibeau said. has reached out to the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and Canadian Pork Council for comment.

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