Advancing Canada's trade and market access agenda

March 16, 2018

Gaining access to global markets and expanding trading relationships with some of the world's largest economies are top priorities for the federal government. To ensure Canada continues to be a major player in the global marketplace, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Minister Lawrence MacAulay led high-profile trade missions to the European Union (EU), China, Mexico and the United States.

European Union

With the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) having provisionally come into force in September 2017, Minister MacAulay visited Germany, Italy and Belgium, promoting Canadian agriculture in meetings with key European buyers and distributors. He attended ANUGA (the world's largest food and beverage trade show) in Cologne, Germany, in early October and met with senior European Union (EU) officials. The EU represents a market of more than half a billion consumers, and CETA will allow Canada to export an additional $1.5 billion worth of agricultural products.


As the world's second-largest economy—and Canada's second-largest single-country trading partner—China offers significant opportunities for exports. During his visit in November, Minister MacAulay participated in a number of promotional events and meetings, and took the opportunity to showcase Canada's safe, high-quality food products to one of the world's most sought-after markets for agriculture.


Mexico continues to be an important market for Canadian agriculture: we exported $1.7 billion worth of agri-food products there in 2016. In December 2017, Minister MacAulay met with his counterpart, Mexican Secretary of Agriculture José Calzada. They visited Alimentaria, an important Mexican food and beverage trade show, where the Minister promoted Canadian agri-food and learned of new trade opportunities. He also participated in a roundtable discussion with key Canadian and Mexican officials.

United States

In January 2018, Minister MacAulay attended the 99th Annual Convention of the American Farm Bureau Federation in Nashville, Tennessee, where he spoke to a crowd of more than 6,000 people and reiterated the importance of a modernized North America Free Trade Agreement that will benefit all three nations.

Other market access news

  • Canada and 10 other countries have agreed to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). It will give the Canadian agricultural industry preferential access to all CPTPP countries and will provide new market access opportunities for a wide range of Canadian products. More details to come in the next issue.
  • Canadian pork exports to Argentina were restored—an annual estimated export value up to $16 million.
  • Tariff rate quotas on unroasted malt, unhulled/naked barley and soybeans to South Korea increased to 16,600, 2,500 and 12,500 metric tonnes respectively, with duty-free tariffs as of January 1, 2018. Canada's first free trade agreement (FTA) in Asia-Pacific, the Canada-South Korea FTA, offers strategic access to the region as well as global value chains. Pork offal, wheat flour, whisky, prepared and frozen shrimp and prawn, sea cucumbers and other molluscs will be tariff-free in 2019.
  • Following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's mission to China in December 2017, the federal government announced expanded access to the Chinese market for Canadian chilled pork and beef through a pilot project. The project is estimated to be worth up to $100 million for pork and $125 million for beef over the next five years.

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