Canada's Agriculture Exporters Thank Ministers Fortier, Ritz for Staying the Course

    GENEVA, Switzerland, July 28 /CNW/ - Geneva After concerns last week that
negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Meetings in
Geneva were close to falling apart, potentially costing Canadian agricultural
exporters billions of dollars in lost export opportunities, the Canadian
Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA) is pleased and relieved that negotiations are
continuing. Countries involved in the meetings agreed to continue talking
after WTO Director General Pascal Lamy tabled a package of compromise
parameters for agricultural tariff and subsidy reductions. CAFTA, a coalition
of national and regional organizations, associations and companies that
support a more open and fair international trading environment for agriculture
and agri-food, is urging Canadian negotiators to seek commercially meaningful
market access gains for all Canadian agri-food products.
    "Minister of Agriculture and Agri Food Gerry Ritz has informed CAFTA that
he and Minister of Trade Michael Fortier will see these negotiations through
to their conclusion, which now looks likely to happen Thursday of this week,"
says Darcy Davis, President of CAFTA. "Several of our CAFTA delegates have
made arrangements to stay in Geneva through the rest of the week as well, to
continue lobbying Canada's negotiators to show leadership in seeking new rules
that will substantially reduce trade distorting support, expand access to
export markets, and provide significant gains for Canadian agri-food
    Independent analysis has confirmed that new WTO rules as currently being
negotiated would bring an additional $3 Billion per year in Canadian
agricultural exports. Without a new agreement, the future competitiveness of
Canada's agriculture industry is at stake. Prosperity for Canadian agriculture
is vitally dependent on trade, now and in the future.

For further information:

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

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