OCTOBER 18, 2013 – OTTAWA, ON – CropLife Canada strongly supports the agreement in principle with the European Union on a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) which was announced today by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
“This agreement eliminates tariffs on 95 per cent of Canadian agricultural products and ensures duty free access for Canadian crops,” says Lorne Hepworth, president of CropLife Canada. “This creates a huge export opportunity for Canadian agriculture so the plant science industry strongly supports the Government of Canada’s trade agenda and the CETA agreement.”
The CETA includes a vehicle for cooperation on issues relating to biotechnology and trade. A biotechnology working group is tasked under the agreement to address the timelines of approvals for genetically engineered products, science-based policy and regulation and development of a low level presence (LLP) policy.
“Canadian farmers planted close to 29 million acres of biotech crops in 2012 and adoption continues to grow in Canada and around the world,” says Hepworth. “The commitment to science-based regulation and the development of a LLP policy through CETA ensures Canadian agriculture will remain competitive.”
The agreement also includes new mechanisms for preventing and resolving trade challenges relating to plant health and food safety issues.
When implemented, CETA is estimated to create an additional $12 billion annually in economic activity in Canada, increase bilateral trade by 20 per cent, and create almost 80,000 new jobs. Many of these benefits will accrue to the agriculture sector and will give Canada access to a market of over 500 million consumers.
CropLife Canada is fully supportive of the government’s trade expansion agenda and its commitment to science-based regulation.
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