The Canadian Meat Council (CMC) is calling on the various government parties for action this upcoming election, as they feel they’ve been in the dark for upwards of three months.
The CMC says China’s temporary suspension on pork and beef exports is costing those in the industry close to $100 million. If it persists, the organizations says, it’ll become an even larger risk to Canadian jobs.
“As we enter the third month of suspension, the pork and beef sectors are calling on the Government to make clear their strategy to reopen the Chinese market and ensure we have more options for export diversification when such issues arise,” the statement reads.
The CMC says the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has provided China Customs with all the information and analysis requested to demonstrate that the source of the infractions was not Canadian. According to the news release, the CFIA has also assured China of the strong mechanisms in place in Canada to ensure compliance with all of China’s technical requirements.
With this in mind, the CMC says, “it becomes clear that bigger political issues are the true obstacles that the Canadian government must resolve.”
As the writ is expected to be dropped in the coming weeks, if not days, according to analysts, the CMC is asking for this issue to be looked at closely by the parties and to hear how they would resolve the matter.
“The industry also expects to have a meaningful discussion on building export resilience and compensation for the millions of dollars lost by the Canadian farmers and exporters who have been the victims of the suspension.”
CPC quick to criticize
Luc Berthold, Conservative Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Agri-Food was quick to comment on the release via Twitter. In a three part thread, he wrote:
It is clear that Justin Trudeau’s approach to Beijing is not working. He is getting bullied by the Chinese government and has done nothing to stand up for Canadian interests.
This trade barrier is not about the quality of Canadian beef & pork – it is about Trudeau’s failed leadership on the world stage. Canadian pork producers are losing millions of $ due to Trudeau’s poor judgement when it comes to the Chinese gov’t.
If Trudeau really wanted to support Canada’s meat sector – he would stand-up for Canadian farmers and push-back against these unfair trade restrictions. It is clear that Justin Trudeau’s support for Canada’s farmers is #notasadvertised
Other agriculture critics for the NDP and Green Party, along with the Agriculture Minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau, have yet to make a comment on the news release.