As a trade-dependent industry, ensuring farmers’ access to international markets is one of GGC’s overarching priorities. Canada is a trusted supplier of grain products globally and that is set to grow with the implementation of new free trade agreements such as the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) with Europe, signed in October 2016.
We are the world’s 5th largest exporter of agriculture and agri-food products with $50.4B in sales in 2013. According to current estimates, Canadian grain farmers export:
- 70% of wheat production
- 25% of barley production (includes malt)
- 75% of pulse production
- 90% of canola production
- 50% of oat production
Our agricultural products are in demand and we rely on our government to advocate on behalf of farmers. Removing or reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade is crucial to the success of grain farming in Canada. Considering that one in eight jobs in Canada are in the agriculture and agri-food industry, open trade benefits us all.
Non-tariff barriers to trade are a growing concern. These impediments include inconsistencies and differences in regulatory approaches and standards that affect a certain product’s access to another market. Trade enabling solutions to non-tariff barriers are critical to ensure continued access to existing markets and the opportunity to build new ones. Barriers impeding access include:
- Importer biotechnology approvals and low level presence policies;
- Sanitary and phytosanitary measures and standards including Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for pesticides.
Canada’s regulatory system is grounded on science-based decision making. Science-based standards provide clear, predictable rules of trade reducing risk in selling abroad, as well as ensuring continued investment in Canada’s agriculture sector. Additionally, trade agreements provide a platform to build on Canada’s science-based policies and to create a stronger global regime. As demonstrated with the CETA deal, Canada is in a strong position to develop science-based policy proposals subject to further negotiation on the world stage.