Is that beyond the United States or in direct competition with the United States?Ottawa sets up advisory group on expanding beef and cattle trade
Monday, September 12, 2005
OTTAWA (CP) - At least one industry official is welcoming a federal move to open up international trade talks on beef and cattle to the producers who actually raise the animals.
Federal Agriculture Minister Andy Mitchell announced Monday a new group to advise him on how to expand Canada's trade in beef and cattle. The Beef and Cattle Advisory group will help identify trade priorities, facilitate negotiations and promote discussions on market access and development.
"It's essential for the Canadian beef and cattle industry and the government of Canada to work together to increase access to foreign markets beyond that of the United States," Agriculture Minister Andy Mitchell said in a news release.
"This advisory group will help in guiding industry and government resource commitments that permit us to achieve our goal of greater international market penetration."
The move comes after the mad cow crisis devastated the Canadian beef industry when the U.S. closed its border to Canadian meat products.
Ted Haney, head of the Canada Beef Export Federation, said producers have been requesting such a group for years.
"It really is taking a process of taking market access negotiations into a new private-public partnership," he said from Calgary. "We believe that is very positive."
Haney said industry input will help trade negotiators design deals that create the most economic impact for Canadian producers.
Although the eventual aim is to expand Canada's international trade in beef and cattle, the first goal will be to re-establish normal relations with traditional customers, Haney said.
The group includes representatives from key industry associations, including:
-Canada Beef Export Federation
-Canadian Beef Breeds Council
-Canadian Livestock Genetics Association
-Canadian Cattlemen's Association
-Canadian Meat Council
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and International Trade Canada will also participate in group discussions.
© The Canadian Press 2005