Rebecca Lee, Executive Director of the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC), and Ken Forth, Chair of CHC’s Trade and Marketing Committee, recently appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food to address the impact of non-tariff barriers on international trade in horticulture.
Ms. Lee and Mr. Forth delivered the following messages to the committee:
Maximum Residue Limits
Trade negotiators should continue to lobby for science-based maximum residue limits to be harmonised between trading countries.
Phytosanitary Import Requirements
CHC supports the inclusion in trade agreements of enhanced and technically justified phytosanitary requirements that are harmonised between countries. This would strengthen the need for importing countries to conduct science-based risk assessments and allow fair market access opportunities based on valid phytosanitary conditions.
Hazard-based in-or-out regulatory decisions
CHC encourages trade negotiations to consider phytosanitary risk mitigation, based on science rather than the simple existence of a hazard, in the registration of crop protection products.
CHC urges Canada to retain anti-dumping rules through the maintenance of ministerial exemptions.
Cost of competition to Canadian growers
Because Canadian growers adhere to strict quality standards, environmental standards (ex. carbon pricing), and labour laws, their costs of production are often higher than in other countries. Due to these production costs, other countries are often able to enter our market at lower prices, forcing growers to accept increasingly lower margins. The Government of Canada may need to assist Canadian growers by regulating imports to ensure foreign produce meets Canada’s labour, environment, quality, and safety standards, among others.
Listen to CHC’s full testimony (starts at 12:19)