GFM Network News


The World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on Oct. 28, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Denis Balibouse)

Agriculture groups share thoughts on WTO reform

Organizations say the WTO remains the best path forward for the country

Meetings held by Canada’s International Trade Committee garnered responses from farm organizations expressing broad support for efforts to continue reforming the World Trade Organization (WTO). The country’s chief negotiator, Steve Verheul, told committee members in early March that even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, “… the multilateral trading system was facing an increasingly challenging environment,

Incoming WTO director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala takes part in an online meeting before speaking during an interview with Reuters in Potomac, Maryland on Feb. 15, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Joshua Roberts)

Canada hails new WTO chief

Trade body names first African, and first female, DG

Canada is lending its support to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) choice for its new director general. Ngorzi Okonjo-Iweala was chosen Feb. 15 by WTO members as the international trade body’s new head, making her the first woman and the first African to serve in the role. Mary Ng, Canada’s minister of small business, export


COOL refers to laws requiring retailers to identify the country of origin for specific commodities.

COOL call alarms Canada

New USDA head ‘happy’ to work on WTO-compliant country-of-origin labelling laws

The likely U.S. secretary of agriculture says he’ll be “happy” to again advance country-of-origin labelling (COOL) policies. Tom Vilsack, during his Feb. 2 confirmation hearing of the Senate Agricultural Committee, confirmed he is open to reintroducing COOL laws – if they comply with World Trade Organization (WTO) standards. COOL refers to laws requiring retailers to

(WTO.org)

Washington says it’s ready to engage on WTO reform

The Biden administration seems set on reinvigorating the handcuffed organization

Reuters – The United States is committed to “positive, constructive and active engagement” with all members of the World Trade Organization on reforming the body and is actively considering who to choose as its next chief, a U.S. official said Jan. 29. The comments by David Bisbee, charge d’affaires at the U.S. mission to the WTO, are

The World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on Oct. 28, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Denis Balibouse)

Ban on food aid restrictions blocked at WTO

WTO says outcome 'disappointing' in difficult year

Geneva | Reuters — World Trade Organization members were at odds on Friday over a proposal that would ban countries from restricting food aid deliveries, potentially complicating the response to a feared COVID-fuelled humanitarian catastrophe next year. The proposal was one of two related to the pandemic that failed to make headway at a three-day


Can China be trusted on trade?

China is an important export customer for Canadian agricultural products, but can it be trusted? After the arbitrary arrest in December 2018 of two Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, many Canadians would answer no. China using non-tariff trade barriers to cut back on Canadian canola seed, soybean and pork imports in 2019-20, added to

“Agriculture has to be in the centre of the relaunch of our economy... “ – Marie-Claude Bibeau.

Agriculture seen as engine of recovery for Canada

Bibeau touts more exports, regional supply chains and processing

Minister of Agriculture Marie-Claude Bibeau says Canadian agriculture will be the “powerhouse of the economy” as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, pointing to specific opportunities for the industry to grow. During a virtual “fireside chat” at the International Economic Forum of the America’s Toronto event on Oct. 27, Bibeau expressed optimism over export

To counter the growing prevalence of nationalistic policies, Canada is leading supportive countries in a WTO reform effort known as the Ottawa Group.

Uncertainty in global markets continues with pandemic

Protectionist policies could exacerbate food insecurity globally

The impact of COVID-19’s second wave is continuing to cause uncertainty in global markets. According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), between October 2019 and May 2020, G20 economies implemented 154 new trade or related measures, finding 95 to be trade facilitating and 59 as trade restrictive. “In the early stages of the pandemic, several


Opinion: Canada’s work to reform WTO is a good sign

As nations turn inward the global order is being upended

Canada’s efforts to reform the World Trade Organization are commendable. It is apparent more countries are deciding to turn inwards rather than focusing on multilateral trade relationships. The United States, India, Italy and others have all taken actions domestically that have negatively impacted Canadian farmers. Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA) executive director Claire Citeau was

U.S. causing ‘trying times’ for trade

U.S. causing ‘trying times’ for trade

The U.S. is among the nations leading an inward turn around the globe

A recent virtual summit focusing on managing agri- cultural trade in an increasingly chaotic world focused largely on recent actions taken by the United States. Hosted by the Farm Foundation and the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI), the conference brought together trade experts from various backgrounds to discuss issues of trade on July 8. Joe