Ministers Affirm Support For Trade Liberalization

    GENEVA, Switzerland, July 22 /CNW/ - Representatives from the Canadian
beef, pork, sugar and grains and oilseeds sectors met face to face with
Minister of International Trade Michael Fortier and Minister of Agriculture
and Agri-Food Gerry Ritz in Geneva this morning, where ministerial meetings
are attempting to move forward a World Trade Organization trade agreement. The
industry representatives pressed their case for Canada to diligently pursue an
ambitious result from the trade negotiations, one that will expand quotas to
their maximum and maximize tariff reductions.
    The delegation from the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA), which
represents the interests of the over 90% of Canadian farmers and processors
who rely on exports and market their products based on prices set in the
international marketplace, was impressed with the attitude of the Ministers
who clearly believe that trade liberalization is key to the present and future
prosperity of Canada as a trading nation.
    As Minister Fortier's spokesperson was quoted as saying yesterday,
"Canada is strongly committed to the multilateral process and continues to
press for an ambitious outcome to the Doha round. Canadian agricultural
producers, manufacturers and services will benefit from the expanded access to
global markets that an ambitious outcome from the Doha round will secure".
    The members of CAFTA, those agricultural sectors with exports that
currently provide Canada with a $7 billion trade surplus, heartily endorse
this Ministerial support for an ambitious result to these critical
negotiations, ones that, if successful will provide substantial gains for
Canada. These industry sectors are also impressed by the support of several
provincial governments who today indicated their opinion that Canada must play
a leadership role that is consistent with its status as a major trading nation
and engage in the agriculture negotiations to secure the maximum benefit for
our industry.
    This endorsement is, however, based upon the Ministers' actions to obtain
the most ambitious result possible and the negotiations will be followed with
great vigilance. CAFTA will continue to monitor the negotiations and will be
extremely vocal at any further reduction in ambition.

For further information:

For further information: To arrange an interview with the CAFTA
delegation in Geneva, contact: Cindy McCreath, (403) 615-1526,

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