A recent World Trade Organization trade policy review pointed out that government assistance to Canadian agriculture can only compound the problem of subsidies and market distortions affecting world markets.
The trade policy review is an exercise mandated in WTO agreements in which member countries' trade and related policies are examined and evaluated at regular intervals. Significant developments, which may have an impact on the global trading system, are also monitored.
In the Dec. 13-15 review, a press release was issued which pointed out that Canada is reaping the fruits of a liberal trade regime while barriers remain in some key areas.
"Canada is active in the ongoing negotiations in agriculture and services. In agriculture, it seeks on the one hand improved market access, export subsidy elimination, and reduced trade-distorting domestic support. On the other hand it wishes to preserve its right to operate `orderly marketing systems' (in some areas).
The report points out that Canadian producers have continued to seek protection against imports through anti-dumping actions; 85 definitive AD duties were in force in mid-2000, making Canada one of the most intensive AD users.
The average tariff applied to some dutiable items-including vegetables-is 13 percent.
Tariff quotas on such agriculture items as dairy and poultry range to over 300 percent. These are perpetuating inefficiencies at the cost of Canadian consumers and denying trade opportunities to more efficient foreign producers, the report said.