Friday, December 18, 2020

Bibeau hails export performance

Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau is praising Canadian agriculture for being on pace to set another export record this year.

Last year’s record was $67 billion and Bibeau said this year we are making significant progress towards our goal of $75 billion by 2025.

She said the government helped by keeping borders open for trade and by stepping up to ensure that farmers could get temporary foreign workers.

“Our government has implemented major trade agreements that give Canadian agri-food exporters access to key markets . . . (and now) about three-quarters of our agri-food trade is covered by one of our trade agreements,” she said in a statement.

Because the pandemic made sales meetings difficult “we have pivoted our programs to support online marketing initiatives. We launched a digital update of our Canada Brand. We also expanded the CanExport program to help businesses with digital marketing initiatives.”

CanExport offers up to $75,000 to small and medium-sized businesses to tap into export markets.

Another $1.1 billion is in the budget to pursue an aggressive Export Diversification Strategy.

She said Canadian farmers and food businesses play by the rules of international trade, and we continue to support the World Trade Organization in upholding a rules-based trading system and enforcing those rules. 

Canada launched the “Ottawa Group” in 2018 because countries need a way to settle trade disputes after the United States failed to appoint people to do that work through the World Trade Organization.

Bibeau said Canada continues “to champion a predictable and transparent international trade environment. This is vital to our own COVID-19 recovery, and to global food security.