Canadian Farmers ‘Not Satisfied’ with EU Trade Agreement

Wed Mar 27 2024
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SAINT-ANICET, Canada: Canadian farmers have said they were baffled by the French Senate’s rejection of the free trade agreement between the EU and Canada last week as trade experts and agricultural producers suggest that the deal mainly benefits Europeans over their North American counterparts.

A Canadian farmer Kirk Jackson said that they were not satisfied with the agreement either.

After its approval by the European parliament at the beginning of 2017, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) has been provisionally applied since September of that year.

An expert in international trade law at the University of Ottawa, Genevieve Dufour is of the view that there continues to be a lot of “fantasies” in how Europeans view Canadian agriculture.

Practically speaking, no goods banned in Europe are allowed to pass through European Union customs, under rules set out in the CETA agreement.

“The French can decide not to import certain products (and) that’s what they do,” she explained.

These curbs are also viewed negatively by Canadian farmers and the agri-food sector, which do not understand Europe’s rejection of their practices.

Because of this limitation, few Canadian ranchers choose to export to the European market. In 2023, 1,360 tons of beef were exported to the EU, which was only 2% of the amount allowed under the agreement. For France, the figure is even lower, with less than 30 tonnes of Canadian beef imported in 2023.

For seven years, Canada has mainly exported oil and minerals such as uranium and lithium, which are essential for green manufacturing and transportation materials, to France and Europe.

Such shipments between Canada and Europe have taken on new importance since the start of the Ukraine war and the imposition of European sanctions against the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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