Promoting international trade and investment with export markets is a priority for the Canadian produce sector. As Canada pursues new free trade agreements, we are committed to working with the government to uphold the principles of free and fair trade. In order to grow Canadian produce exports while supporting demand in Canada for a range of products, the Canadian government must work to reduce non-tariff trade barriers including harmonization of phytosanitary regulations, maximum residue limits, and payment issues.
Barriers to trade within the sector are principally non-tariff and require support from the federal government to address. The ability to export to, or import from, a new market is dependent on assessments of risks and recognition of plant protection systems by the trading countries’ plant health regulators. Requirements that are not science-based or essential to security act as effective non-tariff trade barriers between countries and must be eliminated.
What FVGC is Asking For
- Ensure that new and renegotiated free trade agreements create the foundation for mutually recognizing food safety systems.
- Ensure that agreements are based on sound science and address an appropriate risk-based approach to trade including sanitary and phytosanitary requirements.
- Mitigate non-tariff barriers to trade.
- Encourage science-based harmonization of Maximum Residue Limits with our trading partners during trade negotiations to prevent technical barriers to trade once agreements are signed.
- Firmly oppose the introduction of any tariff that could impact the availability, accessibility and affordability of food in the Canadian marketplace and Canadian produce in our export markets.
- Regulate imports to ensure foreign produce meets Canada’s high standards, including labour, environment, and of course the quality and safety of the produce.
- Work with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to eliminate the need for grade inspections for potatoes and packaged onions. In the interim, increasing resources for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will be critical to provide services that are quicker, more flexible, and better adapted to marketing practices.
- Revitalize the concept of a “Canada-U.S. Perimeter Strategy” to ensure growers are effectively protected from the unintentional introduction of foreign/tropical/invasive plant pests, and from any associated risks including non-tariff trade disruptions.