OTTAWA, Ontario – Recently concluding in Bali, Indonesia, The World Trade Organization's (WTO) Ninth Ministerial Conference with member countries agreed on a new trade facilitation agreement (TFA) that will benefit Canadian farmers and agricultural exporters. This TFA represents the WTO's first multilateral trade agreement to be concluded since the WTO began in 1995.
Canadian Agriculture Minister, Gerry Ritz participated in the WTO conference with Minister of International Trade, Ed Fast. "This agreement builds on our government's continued advocacy for a fair and more efficient system of international trade based on predictable rules and sound science," Ritz said. "This agreement will help Canadian farmers and agricultural exporters maximize opportunities in international markets where we have achieved unprecedented access this year."
In addition to the TFA, ministers re-affirmed the call for eliminating export subsidies and reducing maximum repayment periods for export credits. Continued reforms in this area will help level the playing field on world markets for Canada's agricultural exporters benefiting all Canadian agricultural exports, including beef and pork, Canada relays. The agreement also carries new and stronger disciplines for the administration of tariff quotas that will create new opportunities for Canadian agricultural exporters.
Agriculture outcomes also address the need for improving food security, which Canada supports as an approach that is sustainable as well as one that minimizes trade distortions. Canada also believes unfettered trade in agricultural products is one of a number of tools available to increase food security.
The momentum generated from this positive outcome in Bali is expected to re-invigorate negotiations on meaningful agriculture reform across all three pillars of the Agreement on Agriculture - domestic support, market access and export competition.