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Canada’s Agri-Food Exporters Support Rules-Based Trade at WTO Ministerial Conference

March 5th, 2024

The Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA) participated at the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) in Abu Dhabi, February 26-March 1 to underline the importance Canada’s agri-food exporters place on open, predictable, and rules-based trade.

“Canada’s agri-food exporters rely on the rules-based system to get their products to global markets, and the WTO is at the heart of that system. We appreciate the Government of Canada’s leadership, standing up for rules-based trade, progressive trade principles and maintaining effective trade disciplines against unfair trade practices and measures,” said Dave Carey, Acting CAFTA President and Vice-President, Government and Industry Relations for the Canadian Canola Growers Association.


While at MC13, the CAFTA delegation met with the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development, senior WTO officials, Canadian trade negotiators, counterparts from the United States and other stakeholders. 

Throughout these meetings, the CAFTA delegation advanced multiple priorities, including input on sustainability and trade, ensuring no backsliding on existing agriculture provisions, and supporting greater regulatory cooperation to reduce technical barriers to trade. As trade and sustainable agriculture continue to be discussed at the WTO and other fora, CAFTA is eager to work with the government to highlight Canada’s world-leading sustainability practices and high-quality agricultural products. 


“Though MC13 was more of a stocktaking exercise than one that reached progress on key issues, we note positively that key WTO rules remain in place, and that WTO members will continue to negotiate agricultural trade policy reforms, with a view to making markets fairer and more competitive. We look forward to continuing the dialogue and staying engaged with the WTO as we work towards MC14 in 2026,” added Michael Harvey, CAFTA’s Executive Director.


Along with the Acting President and Executive Director of CAFTA, the delegation included:  

  • Dennis Laycraft, Executive Vice-President, Canadian Cattle Association

  • Jennifer Babcock, Senior Director, Government and Public Affairs, Canadian Cattle Association

  • Troy Sherman, Senior Director, Government & Industry Relations, Canola Council of Canada

  • Kyle Larkin, Executive Director, Grain Growers of Canada

  • Leif Carlson, Director, Market Intelligence and Trade Policy, Cereals Canada

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