Here's a news release from the federal government about how poorly we're faring on the international negotiation frontier re: supply managed commodities.
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OTTAWA, Ontario, May 20, 2008 – The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, today issued the following statement in response to the release of a revised draft modalities text on agriculture by Crawford Falconer, Chair of the World Trade Organization agriculture negotiations.
"Canada has serious concerns with some elements of the Chair’s draft text. I am particularly disappointed that there has been so little progress in the area of sensitive products, despite my direct intervention with Mr. Falconer to express Canada’s firm position on this issue.
"Canada continues to stand strong for Canadian supply managed sectors. The fact remains that Canada firmly opposes proposals for any over quota tariff cuts or tariff quota expansion for sensitive products. This remains a fundamental and consistent element of Canada’s negotiating position.
"Canada has been very clear with all WTO Members and Mr. Falconer about its priorities for Canadian agriculture in the Doha Round.
"In terms of our exporters, the Government of Canada is encouraged that this text continues to move toward an aggressive tariff reduction formula; substantial cuts to and strengthened disciplines on trade-distorting domestic support; and the elimination of all forms of export subsidies. Canada will continue to create new opportunities and a more level playing field for Canadian producers and farm families who depend on exports.
"As we move forward, I want to emphasize that this Government will continue to strongly support supply management. Canada welcomes this latest effort by Mr. Falconer to help advance the agriculture negotiations. But as the talks proceed, Canada's position on sensitive products remains firm. We will be pressing hard for an outcome from the Doha Round which is good for all of Canadian agriculture, including both our export oriented and supply managed industries."