CANADA - The Canadian canola industry is optimistic that the formal end of negotiations for the Canada-Europe Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) means that the canola industry will soon reap the benefits of the agreement.
Prime Minister Harper and José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, signed a formal declaration marking the end of negotiations at the Canada-EU Summit in Ottawa.
“We appreciate the Government of Canada’s sustained commitment to securing this agreement,” says Miller. “However, we are cautious because the value of the agreement to Canada's canola sector will depend on the EU living up to its commitment to ensure timely approvals of biotechnology products."
The Canola Council of Canada (CCC) sees two main benefits from the agreement: elimination of oil tariffs and provisions to reduce biotechnology-related non-tariff barriers.
“Tariffs on canola oil entering the EU will be eliminated immediately upon implementation, which is expected in early 2016,” says CCC President Patti Miller. The CCC estimates that this could provide the opportunity for exporters to increase sales by up to C$90 million per year.
“In addition to tariff free access, our industry is also encouraged by commitments to find solutions to trade uncertainty and disruption related to biotechnology,” says Miller.
“We are pleased that the EU has agreed to approve new traits as quickly as possible - this will help our growers have timely access to new technology that conserves resources, improves sustainability, and increases profitability."
Miller explains that industry has made significant investments in new biotechnology traits and that timely and predictable approval processes encourage more investment.
A biotechnology working group will be tasked under the CETA to address the timeliness of approvals for genetically engineered products, science-based policy, and development of low level presence policy.
With 90 per cent of canola production exported as seed, oil or meal, creating a stable and open trade environment is a priority of the canola industry’s strategic plan, Keep it Coming 2025, to ensure the canola industry’s continued growth, demand, stability and success. Improving market access through free trade agreements is one way the CCC is working towards this goal.
Canola contributes $19.3 billion to the Canadian economy annually and supports 249,000 jobs. The Canola Council of Canada is a full value chain organization representing canola growers, value added processors, life science companies and exporters.
TheCropSite News Desk