Canada And China Reach Agreement On Canola Deadline Extension; Long-term Solution In The Works
The existing dockage rules with China regarding the canola exports has been stretched beyond a September 1st deadline, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as both countries remain on the negotiating table in order to reach a long-term solution.
The two countries differ on the level of “dockage”- foreign supplies such as weeds, other crops and detritus- that should be deemed acceptable in Canada’s canola exports to China.
Previously, China had given Canada until Thursday to slash the level of foreign material in its deliveries by more than half.
The announcement regarding the extension was made by Trudeau in Beijing, where the canola dispute was envisaged to preoccupy the trade agenda during the PM’s high-level meetings and the G20, which will commence later this week.
“We’re happy to reassure Canadian farmers that at the Sept. 1 deadline we will be able to continue with the current regime of canola and we (will) work together very closely towards a long-term solution in the coming days and weeks ahead,” he said.
Li Keqiang, the Chinese Premier stated, with the aid of a translator, that both sides have “shown flexibility” on the matter.
He mentioned that although China itself is a large canola producer, it has no plans to keep out other exporters. However, he said Chinese producers and consumers have fears that disease could be imported.
“We believe that both sides will be able to make some mutual adjustments with the larger picture of China-Canadian trade and ties in mind,” he said.
Chrystia Freeland, the International Trade Minister, a member of the delegation travelling with Trudeau, had aforementioned that the matter was of “absolute importance” to the Canada-Chinese trade relationship.
“As everyone knows, this was something that was a very difficult issue for our canola growers, for our canola exporters and we were very, very pleased to be able to achieve today that Canadian canola shipments can continue,” Freeland said.
Luo Zhaohui, China’s ambassador to Canada, maintained that Canada’s approach to talks that commenced seven years ago over Chinese concerns about rules for the canola shipments has been inflexible and unfair.
Luo added that China buys 87 percent of its canola from Canada due to its good quality and production. However, he cautioned that China can get the product from elsewhere, if needs be.