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 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.
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
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