OTHER TRADE ISSUES

Updated: August 16, 2019

About Other Trade Concerns

Over the past three years, many grain export markets have been limited or shut down.

Over the past 36 months, we have witnessed non-tariff barriers blocking our durum exports to Italy, Saudi Arabia, Peru and Vietnam. In related crops, our pulse exports to India are similarly being blocked. Most recently China, our biggest customer for canola, has created barriers to our exports.

The Issues

The Wheat Growers have long stood for strong market access and minimal government interference. Our members have invested in their land, equipment and technology on the basis that our export markets are stable and ever-growing.

In recent months, our members have dejectedly watched as our federal government has offered direct subsidies to the dairy, poultry and the meat sector. The proposed changes to the AgriStability program and expanding the interest-free portion of Advance Payments Program do not provide either financial or market stability for the grain, oilseed or pulse sector.

Our Position

The Western Canadian Wheat Growers strongly believe in free-market trade. We eschew subsidies and non-tariff trade barriers. However, we recognize that when our competitors and export markets are not playing by these same rules, that our federal government must respond with all the political tools available. It is the duty of the federal government to ensure that our trade markets remain open, barrier free and that new markets are always being explored. We ask very little of government, but we do expect this of them.

We call upon the Canadian Federal Government to immediately resolve these political issues through whatever diplomatic and legal actions necessary including trade retaliation, all the while working with global institutions, such as the WTO, to strengthen the governing rules and enforcement mechanisms.

On June 17, 2019, the Wheat Growers sent a letter to Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Bibeau expressing our concerns.

On July 29, 2019 we received the government’s non-committal answer.

What We Are Doing

Farmers support new North American trade pact

The chair of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association, Jim Wickett, says the trade deal is important to ensure stability for marketing Saskatchewan farm products. Wickett says the U.S. exports about 50 thousand tons of grain to Canada, but purchases 5 million tons from Canada.

Saskatchewan International Trade Offices Will Boost Agriculture Markets

CALGARY, AB: The Western Canadian Wheat Growers congratulate the Saskatchewan government for opening three new trade offices in Japan, India and Singapore, supplementing the current offices in Shanghai, China and Washington DC. “It is encouraging to see that the Saskatchewan government is taking international trade seriously by opening offices in key markets around the world. […]

Wheat Growers “Very Disappointed” Liberals Voted Back In

The President of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers says they're very disappointed to see the Liberals back in power. Gunter Jochum, who farms in Manitoba, says although the Liberals won a minority Government, the farming community sent a clear message they wanted to see a change in power.

Wheat Growers Disappointed With Election Results

Gunter Jochum, who farms in Manitoba, says although the Liberals won a minority Government, the farming community sent a clear message they wanted to see a change in power. "Anything rural in Ontario was blue as well, and us in the West, naturally all blue, and that is because of how the Liberals treated agriculture [...]

840 CFCW’s Cheryl Brooks had a chat with Dave Quist of the Wheat Growers regarding the upcoming federal election

One of the main concerns from many rural Canadians, especially those on the Prairies, is the lack of talk about agriculture during the federal election campaign. In reality, there's been very little and yet agriculture is one of the biggest economic drivers in the country. 840 CFCW's Cheryl Brooks had a chat with Dave Quist [...]

Federal Parties Answer Agriculture Questionnaire

The federal parties' commitments to farmers and the agricultural sector are highlighted in a questionnaire released by the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Tuesday. The questionnaire was sent to all registered political parties and consisted of five questions exploring their view on priorities for farmers overall, on transporting grain, trade barriers and carbon pricing.

One Stop Shop For Election Issues Affecting Grain Farmers

The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association has put together a one stop shop for Federal election issues affecting grain farmers. Back in September, the farmer-run advocacy organization sent five questions to each of the registered parties on topics they thought would be of interest to prairie grain producers. The policy questions cover industry priorities such [...]

Listen: Comparing federal political party ag policy

With this challenging and stressful fall, many producers haven’t had a lot of time to focus on the federal election campaign. One farm group has gathered the ag policy platforms of political parties into one convenient location. Alice McFarlane with Ag Access talked to Western Canadian Wheat Growers Executive Director Dave Quist about the five policy questions [...]

Canadian farmers on trade, environmental policy and the federal election

For Matt Sawyer, a canola and wheat farmer in Acme, Alta., the most pressing issue this election is trade. "The last 36 months, we've lost trade with Vietnam, Peru, Saudi Arabia and China and we need to come forward with some measures to re-establish trade for our producers as soon as we can. Bottom line," [...]

Farmer’s Caught Between Unenforced Agreements, Gamemanship

So, if it’s “a grim year for canola farmers in Canada,” as the CBC says, then it’s also a grim year for wheat farmers. No matter how our wheat is doing, we’re still getting pounded on another major commodity.

Dairy aid was reasonable, but grain sector needs help

The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association has been outspoken about compensation for dairy farmers. Why compensate farmers with a guaranteed income, albeit at a lower level, while the government has only allowed grain farmers to borrow more money, with no direct payouts?

Wheat Growers ‘Stunned’ By Dairy Compensation

The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association (WCWGA) says it was stunned to see the federal government deliver another $1.75 Billion dollars to the supply management sector.

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