In particular, Canadian meat processing and producer groups welcomed the agreement on trade facilitation, which included provisions to improve fairness and constrain charges and document processing times, as well as establishing requirements related to test procedures and perishable goods.
“Trade facilitation will place new disciplines on Customs procedures that can often restrict the international movement of goods,” said a statement from the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA).
“The CCA welcomes this, as often the beef trade can be impacted by duplication of import inspections, paperwork, and onerous service and user fees, among other issues that would be governed by this package. CCA is also aware of situations where the administration of duty-free quotas has become a barrier, so these are very positive developments.”
The CCA and Canadian Meat Council (CMC) also welcomed stricter rules on the administration of tariff quotas including the publication of quota-related information, the issuance of licences well in advance of the quota period, and the implementation of measures to facilitate quota fill rates.
The Bali Package will give a boost to the WTO Doha Round of negotiations, which was launched 2001 and has yet to produce any agreement at any of the Ministerial Conferences.
Further, the Poultry Processors Association of Canada general manager Robert DeValk said that the Bali agreement demonstrated that “given sufficient will by all participating nations, real progress in a multilateral forum is possible”.
However, CMC executive director Jim Laws added: “As one of the world’s leading exporters of meat and poultry products, we continue to seek a successful conclusion to the comprehensive Doha Round of WTO negotiations.”
The Bali negotiations did give Canada’s International Trade minister Ed Fast and Agriculture minister Gerry Ritz the opportunity to hold bilateral meetings with ministers from South Korea and Mexico. During these meetings, the ministers discussed a possible free trade agreement (FTA) with South Korea, and re-affirmed the need to work with Mexico to bring an end to US country-of-origin labelling (COOL).