GGC supports measures to promote external and internal trade including the reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers on agricultural commodities. This includes the progressive reduction of trade distorting protection and support to maximize export opportunities for Canadian grain farmers.

Grain growers across Canada support an aggressive trade agenda, including the negotiation of ambitious free trade agreements. The CPTPP, an FTA with China and the renegotiation of NAFTA present unprecedented opportunities to open markets for Canadian grain farmers.  GGC continues to call on the Federal Government to successfully conclude negotiations for NAFTA, ratify CPTPP and to launch FTA negotiations with China as expeditiously as possible.

An ambitious trade agenda with positive outcomes in these three agreements, along with the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) with Europe, will allow grain growers to play a major role in meeting the Federal Government’s ambitious goal of achieving $75 billion in agri-food exports by 2025.

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.

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Farmer Feature

“As a farmer, I have been fortunate to take part in international trade missions, promoting Canadian grain and seeing firsthand just how in demand our products are. Canada is a trade-dependent country and our farmers can sustainably produce enough grain for export. As such, we need governments to ensure that we have strong free trade agreements (like CETA) that reduce barriers to key markets and keep Canadian grain moving.”

–Gary Stanford, grain farmer, Magrath, AB


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