Lib­er­als fail to di­ver­sify ex­port mar­kets for Cana­dian agri­cul­ture

The Southwest Booster - - FRONT PAGE - JOHN BAR­LOW AND LUC BERTHOLD

Trade is crit­i­cal to the Cana­dian econ­omy; in fact, one-in-five Cana­dian jobs and 60 per cent of Canada’s GDP are de­pen­dent on trade. Global trade ten­sions and diplo­matic fail­ures have cre­ated pres­sure on Cana­dian pro­duc­ers of prod­ucts such as bar­ley, corn, oats, pulses, soy­beans and wheat.

This is one rea­son Con­ser­va­tives re­quested an emer­gency ses­sion of par­lia­ment to rat­ify the Com­pre­hen­sive and Pro­gres­sive Agree­ment for Trans Pa­cific Part­ner­ship (CPTPP).

Con­ser­va­tives rec­og­nize the im­por­tance of the CPTPP to our econ­omy; while the Trudeau Lib­er­als have left this im­por­tant trade agree­ment stalled in the House of Com­mons, de­lay­ing its in­tro­duc­tion and fail­ing to take steps to ad­vance it to se­cure first mover ad­van­tage over our com­peti­tors.

With the U.S. pro­vid­ing a $12-bil­lion bailout to ease tar­iff pain for Amer­i­can farm­ers, it is im­per­a­tive the Lib­er­als en­sure this does not worsen mar­ket con­di­tions for Cana­dian pro­duc­ers by tak­ing steps to di­ver­sify Canada’s ex­port mar­kets.

Whether it is mar­ket ac­cess for our nat­u­ral re­sources, tax and reg­u­la­tory com­pet­i­tive­ness, or in­ter­na­tional trade di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion, Justin Trudeau’s Lib­er­als have failed to ad­dress Canada’s faltering po­si­tion in the global econ­omy. They have also failed to main­tain, and con­trib­uted to the de­cline in ac­cess to some key ex­port mar­kets for our agri­cul­tural prod­ucts.

Pulse grow­ers look­ing to In­dia are now fac­ing higher du­ties, se­vere im­port re­stric­tions and they still do not have a long term fu­mi­ga­tion agree­ment. Italy has closed its doors to Cana­dian du­rum wheat and Saudi Ara­bia has stopped buy­ing our wheat and bar­ley.

Canada has an op­por­tu­nity to show lead­er­ship on the world stage. We should step up, rat­ify this agree­ment and put pres­sure on other sig­na­tory coun­tries to do the same. The Lib­er­als need to act im­me­di­ately to rat­ify the CPTPP and di­ver­sify ex­port mar­kets for our Cana­dian pro­duc­ers with­out fur­ther jeop­ar­diz­ing any ex­ist­ing ac­cess.

The Con­ser­va­tive Party rec­og­nizes the im­por­tance of the CPTPP, its role in our econ­omy, and the good pay­ing jobs trade cre­ates. Con­ser­va­tives will con­tinue to voice their sup­port for this crit­i­cal trade agree­ment.

Un­der the lead­er­ship of An­drew Scheer, Canada’s Con­ser­va­tives will con­tinue to de­fend our vi­tal agri­cul­ture in­dus­try, hold­ing Justin Trudeau and the Lib­er­als to ac­count. We will con­tinue to work with our pro­duc­ers to help them sur­vive the Lib­er­als’ fail­ures on be­half of Canada’s farm­ers.

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