No Deal Is a Bad Deal for Canadian Farmers



    GENEVA, Switzerland, July 29 /CNW/ - The Canadian Agri-Food Trade
Alliance (CAFTA) stated emphatically today that no new deal at the World Trade
Organization (WTO) would be a bad deal for Canadian farmers.
    Without a new agreement, the future competitiveness of Canada's
agriculture industry is at stake. The current international trading market
remains significantly distorted by a range of barriers - including restrictive
tariffs, arbitrary limits on market access, domestic support programs and
export subsidies. Combined with the weakened U.S. dollar, which puts an
additional burden on all Canadian exporters, the pressure on Canadian
agricultural exporters has never been higher. Over 92% (210,000) of Canadian
farmers are directly dependent on export markets - they either export their
products or sell them domestically at prices set by international
marketplaces.
    "Billions are at stake for export dependent agriculture," says
Darcy Davis, President of CAFTA. "To not get a new WTO agreement would mean
tariffs can be raised and domestic supports increased to further distort
international trade. Canada's trade-dependent agriculture sectors, by far the
majority of our agriculture producers, need a new deal not just to increase
our access to world markets, but to maintain what we've got. There is no
status quo."
    CAFTA delegates remain in Geneva where international ministers of trade
are attempting to hammer out an agreement on a package of compromise
parameters for agricultural tariff and subsidy reductions. Failure to reach an
agreement would mean failure for the Doha Round of WTO negotiations and the
likelihood that no new WTO agreement would be reached for years.





For further information:

For further information: Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance Ottawa
office, (613) 560-0500; Cindy McCreath, (403) 615-1526,
cindy@mccreathenterprises.ca

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CANADIAN AGRI-FOOD TRADE ALLIANCE

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