Canada-US hold livestock talks

By Carina Perkins

- Last updated on GMT

Canada-US hold livestock talks

Related tags: Minister gerry ritz, Agriculture, International trade, Tom vilsack, Livestock, Pork

Ministers from Canada and the US have met with livestock industry representatives to discuss how the countries can work together to improve competitiveness and productivity.

Canadian agriculture minister Gerry Ritz had a series of meetings with US secretary of agriculture Tom Vilsack in Washington last week. Discussions centred on trade agreements, removing burdensome regulations and collaboration on innovation and biotechnology, with ministers agreeing that it was important for both countries to work together.
Ritz said: “As each other’s largest trading partner, we need to continue working together to make sure trade can move at the speed of commerce and benefits the agriculture industry on both sides of the border. Like never before, the flow of agriculture trade is essential to our economic growth.”
During the talks, Ritz raised the issue of meat labelling and underlined the need for the US to implement the changes required to comply with the WTO panel decision that country-of-origin labelling (COOL) was a barrier to free trade, which violated trade agreements between Canada and the US. The ministers also held a roundtable with US and Canadian industry representatives to discuss a range of issues, including Canada’s entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership, livestock traceability and food safety standards, as well as ways of strengthening the North American integrated pig and pork market.
Canadian Pork Council chair Jean-Guy Vincent said: “The Canadian swine industry is very supportive of co-operation activities that would help to eliminate or reduce unnecessary regulatory divergences between Canada and the US and find new ways to work together to benefit our integrated hog and pork industries.”
Agricultural trade between Canada and the US is currently worth $33bn annually. The Canadian government has been working hard to improve access for Canadian processors and producers to the US market, which it claims is “heavily reliant”​ on the integrated North American livestock industry.

Related topics: Meat

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