Canada is setting up a working group and has sent a letter to Chinese officials
By Diego Flammini
Canada’s federal ag minister has outlined some of the steps the government is taking to resolve the canola trade issue with China.
“On the weekend, I sent a letter to my Chinese counterpart, requesting to send a delegation led by (Dr. Siddika Mithani) the president of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, along with her team of plant health experts, and the support the technical experts from the Prairie provinces,” Marie-Claude Bibeau told reporters yesterday.
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau
On March 6, China suspended canola imports from Richardson International citing “dangerous pests,” a Chinese official said. Then, on March 26, China suspended canola shipments from Viterra Inc. because of “several hazardous organisms” discovered in the cargo, the Associated Press reported.
The federal government is also assembling a working group of industry experts determined to find a collaborative approach to resolving the market issue.
Representatives from the Canola Council of Canada, the Canadian Canola Growers Association, Richardson, Viterra, the federal government and the provincial governments of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan will be part of the working group, Minister Bibeau announced.
The canola industry welcomes the federal government’s commitment to finding a solution to the market access issue.
Presenting proper evidence to Chinese importers should help repair the trade relationship, said Jim Everson, president of the Canola Council of Canada.
“This group will ensure that all Government of Canada resources support resolving China’s concerns,” he said in a statement yesterday. “We’re very confident in the quality if our canola and want to resolve the difference of opinion between Canada and China as quickly as possible.”
China’s actions on Canadian canola could be related to Canada’s involvement in the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the chief operating officer of Huawei Technologies, on Dec. 1.