FAO conference: Canada must revise its supply management programs

    MONTREAL, June 3 /CNW Telbec/ - With the opening today of the world food
security conference of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization,
Canada could assume a leadership role in the area of market liberalization.
The world food crisis and the resumption of the Doha round of trade talks give
Canada an opportunity to abolish supply management and customs duties on
foodstuffs to benefit from the growing rise in demand from emerging countries.
    Economists Marcel Boyer and Sylvain Charlebois, the authors of an
Economic Note from the Montreal Economic Institute on the Doha round and
agricultural trade, warn that "hiding behind protectionist customs tariffs and
staking the future on a domestic market that has already reached maturity can
lead only to disaster."

    Three major policy changes are needed:

    - a major reduction or outright abolition of direct and indirect
      subsidies to agriculture in developed countries, including customs
      tariffs and import quotas applied to foodstuffs;
    - a significant opening by the most powerful developing countries -
      Brazil, India and China, in particular - to industrial products from
      developed countries;
    - more effective international assistance programs aimed at revitalizing
      the agricultural sector in poor countries through infrastructure

    The Economic Note, titled The Doha Development Round and agricultural
trade, was prepared by Sylvain Charlebois, associate professor in marketing at
the University of Regina, and Marcel Boyer, vice-president and chief economist
of the Montreal Economic Institute and Bell Canada professor of industrial
economics at the University of Montreal.
    This publication is available at www.iedm.org

For further information:

For further information: and interview requests: André Valiquette,
Director of Communications, Montreal Economic Institute, (514) 273-0969 ext.
2225, Cell: (514) 574-0969, avaliquette@iedm.org

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