WTO deal to spare Canadian poultry
Canada is confident that a WTO trade deal will spare a marketing scheme that
has protected its dairy and poultry farmers from foreign
Trade ministers from major nations will soon be meeting in Switzerland to
conclude Doha round of talks on a new World Trade Organisation deal that will
cut farm subsidies and tariffs, reports Reuters.
It has been reported that Canada has resisted attempts to touch its "supply
management" regime which controls production and prices and limits imports with
"I don't think supply management will take a hit," said Trade Minister
Michael Fortier Fortier.
In May, mediators issued revised proposals that would force Canada to open
up poultry and dairy markets to more imports.
Canada has tried, unsuccessfully, to have all supply-managed agriculture
designated as "sensitive products", which means they would be subject to smaller
cuts in tariffs than other products.
"At the end of the day, everybody has got a pocket of sensitive issues
which they wish to protect," said Fortier. He went on to say that supply
management is a minor issue for many countries. "We're going to have to find a
way to come to terms based on that position," he said.
However, Reuters also reports that some trade experts say protected
industries such as the Canadian poultry and dairy sector will eventually be
forced to end their isolation and compete in the global market.
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