October 18, 2013 — The Canola Council of Canada (CCC) supports the agreement in principle of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) which was announced today by the Prime Minister of Canada.
“The CETA eliminates tariffs on canola oil and ensures duty free access for canola and canola products to Europe,” says CCC president Patti Miller. “Eliminating tariffs and liberalizing trade in canola and canola products is a priority for the sector so we strongly support the Government of Canada’s trade negotiation agenda and this agreement in principle.”
The CETA provides for the elimination of tariffs on canola oil entering the EU immediately upon implementation of the agreement. The Canola Council estimates that this will provide the opportunity for exporters to increase sales by up to $90 million per year.
The CETA will also include a vehicle for cooperation on issues relating to biotechnology and trade. A biotechnology working group is tasked under the agreement to address the timeliness of approvals of genetically engineered products, science-based policy and regulation and development of low level presence policy. “This is a critically important area affecting our trade”, says Miller. “The working group is a positive development but its value will depend on the ability of the two governments to find effective solutions to trade uncertainty and disruption relating to biotechnology. This working group has to deliver results for the CETA to live up to its potential and we are encouraged by the Government of Canada’s commitment to this objective.”
The agreement also includes new mechanisms for preventing and resolving trade challenges relating to plant health and food safety issues and for cooperation in development of new regulations which the CCC notes have the potential to reduce unnecessary regulation and resolve trade disputes.
“Canada is an exporting nation and when it comes to canola and canola products, we export over 85% of our production,” says Miller, “so this agreement, which eliminates tariffs and creates mechanisms to resolve trade disputes, is a big step forward. She added that the Canola Council congratulates the Government of Canada for securing the agreement in principle and recognizes the outstanding work of Canada’s negotiators in securing the agreement.
Canola contributes $19.3 billion to the Canadian economy annually and supports 249,000 jobs. The Canola Council of Canada is a full value chain organization representing canola growers, value added processors, life science companies and exporters.
Media may contact:
Jim Everson, Vice-President, Government Relations