Voters are being encouraged to push the topic of trade with area candidates running in the upcoming federal election.
With growing world protectionism, Cereals Canada President Cam Dahl says political parties need to present a comprehensive approach to protecting the country's trading interests. He adds if Canada doesn't refocus its trade policy, thousands of jobs will continue to be at risk because of agricultural trade disputes.
"If you go back in time and think about before we had an agreement with Europe or the Trans Pacific Partnership, there really was a push for broad trade agreements that were focused primarily on getting tariffs down, controlling tariffs, as well as putting into place rules of trade and that really has benefited Canadian agriculture," explained Dahl, adding however, things have changed and the world has entered in to a new age of protectionism. "We just have to look at what's happening between China and the United States right now to see that," said Dahl.
Dahl says farmers need to challenge candidates and their parties to outline their plan to protect agriculture growth, investment and jobs. He has even provided three questions that he says every candidate should face in the upcoming election.
The first being "What is your party’s comprehensive plan to deal with non-tariff trade barriers facing agriculture?".
The second question inquires whether a candidate's party will use Canada's existing trade agreement to systematically challenge non-tariff trade barriers.
"We have a trade agreement with Europe and since we've signed it our durum exports to Europe have fallen by sixty per cent," said Dahl. "I look at what Italy has done on the Country of Origin Labelling and I don't see that as being compliant with the trade agreement...and so are parties going to be willing to take that step and use the dispute resolution provisions of those agreements to challenge protectionist activity? We really do need to see a shift in governments being willing to do that," he added.Click here to see more...