|Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and his counterpart in China, Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu.|
BEIJING – Bilateral meetings between Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and the Chinese government have delivered import market access for Canadian beef products, live cattle, swine and other commodities.
Ritz recently traveled to China with a delegation of 70 people representing more than 30 agricultural groups and four Canadian provinces on a mission to improve Canada's trade access to China and build research and science collaboration, among other initiatives.
"The expanded market access we agreed to will ensure our agriculture producers and processors are competitive in the lucrative Chinese market," Ritz said. "By promoting Canada's food and agriculture sector as a reliable and safe supplier of choice for Chinese consumers, we are making sure our agriculture industry will continue to drive the Canadian economy."
Following meetings with Han Changfu, China's Minister of Agriculture (MOA) and Wei Chuanzhong, China's Vice Minister of General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), Ritz announced that China formally agreed to negotiate market access for Canadian bone-in beef from cattle less than 30 months of age in addition to access for live cattle. Industry estimates the Chinese market for Canadian beef will grow to $240 million annually once full market access is granted to bone-in beef from Canada.
Ritz and Wei signed agreements to modernize both countries' swine protocols to reflect recent animal health and disease control science-based approaches. The Canadian swine industry estimates the updated protocol will boost Canadian live swine competitiveness in China and generate sales of up to $11 million annually.
Minister of International Trade Ed Fast said the Canadian government has prioritized market access and support for Canadian industry
"Just last month, I led a trade mission to China and announced the forthcoming opening of four new trade offices, providing on-the-ground support and increased assistance for Canadian businesses as they explore new opportunities with Canada's second-largest single-nation trading partner," Fast said. "Deepening Canada's trade ties with large and dynamic countries such as China will lead to job creation and opportunities, growth and long-term prosperity here at home."