Canada still looking for hormone beef advantage in trade deal talks with UK

Fri 1 Apr 2022
Posted by: Noelle McElhatton
Trade News

Canada will push with “vigour and conviction” for Britain to accept imports of hormone-treated beef in the trade deal the two countries are currently negotiating, the Canadian high commissioner to the UK said in an interview published this week.

Ralph Goodale said improved market access for the treated meat was “legitimate and appropriate and should be forthcoming” in Canada-UK trade talks.

The UK maintained an EU ban on hormone beef imports after Brexit, but Canada argues that ban lacks a clear scientific basis.

Leverage

According to Politico, the UK is not expected to compromise on the issue but it may prove a point of leverage in discussions.

Goodale told Politico: “Canadian food products, including beef and meats of all kinds, are among the highest quality and safest anywhere in the world.”

Canada could obstruct UK accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) – of which Canada is a founding member – unless the UK gives ground.

The UK and Canada launched the talks to replace the EU-Canada deal that was rolled over after Brexit.

With Britain is negotiating alone, the Canadians might seek to roll back some of the measures in the current trading arrangements.

Trader consultation

The UK government undertook a consultation last year to find out what UK traders wanted from a deal with Canada.

This found that exporters wanted to continue to benefit from tariff reduction and elimination which exists under the current UK-Canada trade agreement.

Respondents also highlighted where certain Canadian tariffs across a few key sectors remained high, including dairy products, and hoped these could be lowered.

Dairy protection

Canada is highly protective of its dairy sector and was sued by the US government last year, reported the Guardian.

The US claimed it had won the case in January, however Goodale suggested Britain would not be so fortunate and would have to battle Brussels to get its portion of the EU quota on cheese.

Canada would also be open to some form of visa arrangements with the UK provided an agreement was reciprocal.

International trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan met her counterpart Mary Ng in recent weeks to formally launch trade talks, as previously covered in the IOE&IT's Daily Update.

Trevelyan said she was hoping for a “Canada 2.0” trade deal from the talks.